Should I license or franchise a technology solution?
A company I am working with has developed an innovative e-learning platform aimed at schools. They are located in Africa and are looking to expand internationally. Any advice on the pros and cons of licensing versus franchising, or other alternatives for internationalizing their company?
Open Source with Commercial upgrades. Best of both worlds because you will benefit from the community driving the software.
And to add to Sinisa's input below:
- Franchising requires that your entire business process is proven, repeatable and is supported by the franchisor - you. This requires a great deal more work than licensing. And yes, brand is key here.
- Licensing is a lot more flexible in that you are giving someone the right to resell or use your product - with your brand or under their own brand (which schools/universities, associations may want their own brand on it). They are responsible for supporting it - not you.
So it depends on whether you are interested in maintaining (controlling) the use, sale, implementation and operations of the platform.
Depends on what you want to achieve, the biggest difference between licensing and fanchising is in brand building. If you want to build the brand you are franchising the technology to be used WITH the brand. But for that to be a successful offer you would need to have a promising brand, because when you sell a franchise you are actually selling the brand not the technology. Licensing a technology on the other end does not automatically include the use of brand (i.e. technology will be used under some other brand).