Recently, I learned how successful companies are that are francises because they duplicate themselves. I had never thought about the biggies that they really do it like that and thats why they become successful - but millionaires say duplicate and you will be a millionaire - now that is an interesting topic I thought.
Usually a franchise becomes a franchise after they have seen their business model achieve success. Then they offer franchises that duplicate their model. You don't start a business and immediately start franchising without knowing if your business is going to be successful. People that buy into a franchise do so knowing that the business has achieved a certain amount of success already. That is the point of buying a franchise. They are a proven business already.
Sylvia is right in most cases, but I can cite a couple of cases of franchises that became succesful as franchises, regardless of whether or not their business model was originally a success.
There is a smoothie franchise, whose name rightly escapes me, that began as a franchise and actually became almost an overnight success. The other organization that comes to mind instantly is known as Femmes en Forme, here in Quebec, they have copied the successful model of Curves and are almost as successful.
Franchising is a pain in the butt for the owner though, because, as McDonald's and Tim Horton's have learned, you have to work to ensure that the franchisees maintain your standard.
Otherwise, I'm sure it's a great way to increase business. The next best thing would be cloning oneself.