Business as Mission Franchising: Replicating Proven Businesses
Many business as mission (BAM) practitioners believe that an increase in BAM franchising would more quickly increase the number of BAM businesses worldwide and thus exposure to God’s love and the gospel. Interest has been expressed in the concept of ‘BAM in a Box’, that is franchise and business replication opportunities that would make starting a new BAM business faster, easier, and with a greater chance of success.
Replicating successful BAM businesses should make a significant contribution to the BAM movement, but an investment of time, resources and expertise is required. The BAM in a Box Issue Group has created practical business replication “how-to guidelines” for BAM Entrepreneurs (BAMpreneurs) to support this need.
BAM franchising does have many advantages for BAMpreneurs. Franchise businesses are a lower risk for business owners and investors. Franchising is built on a proven business concept and provides many resources to support the business startup. Franchises generally come with a natural mentoring network and supportive training and systems.
However, few proven BAM franchising models exist and there is little franchising expertise in the business as mission community. A BAMpreneur cannot assume he or she can create a BAM franchise by themself without appropriate training and resources. Yet a fragmented BAM community makes growing networks for BAM franchising more difficult. Franchising looks easier than it is and new resources and networks will be needed to successfully foster significant BAM franchise growth.
This Report is the first step to transition from the “what” of BAM replication to the “how”. The target audience for these “how-to” resources are BAM practitioners who either want to expand by replicating their existing business or those who wish to start a business based on a proven model. BAM franchising will serve a particular subset of the BAM community. However, there are many alternative business models to consider besides franchising. These include: licensing, joint ventures, distributorships, company unit expansion, and numerous other hybrid replication models.
Using various forms of business replication in BAM provides a wide path to spread the gospel and demonstrate God’s Kingdom. We need BAM investors and seasoned business owners, mission agencies, churches and others to work together to leverage this business replication opportunity. We need an increase in BAMpreneurs who are fully equipped and willing to go and invest in starting such businesses.
A working group will continue to collaborate on the topic of BAM replication. Our objectives for future work are:
- Create a BAM in a Box business model within the Aquaponics industry to provide a template for further BAM in a Box models.
- Find like-minded successful franchisors and investors to partner with BAM practitioners.
- Create a collection of BAM business replication resources, networking and relationship building opportunities.