How do you find the right franchise for you? Franchising is booming.. The road to fame isn’t always paved with riches, however. While most franchises are legitimate and many offer great potential for success, there are pitfalls to avoid and strategies to follow that can help you along the way.
Investing in a franchise operation takes a lot more than money. It takes time. Time to do research and time to reflect on whether or not the franchise you are considering is the right one for you. You must conduct your own due diligence to find the right franchise for your needs.
Whenever you’re investing your money you want to make sure you’re investing it wisely. Following are some guidelines on what to look for (and look out for) in your quest to find the right franchise.
5 Tips To Find The Right Franchise
1. A franchise that complements your interests.
It’s no secret that we all have different talents and interests. When looking to find the right franchise for you, make sure that you match your interest and skills with the business you select. If you loathe cooking and have no interest in it, don’t look for a food service franchise.
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your franchise operation. To find the right franchise you must conduct your own research. Many franchisors require that franchisees be actively involved in the franchise. (Some do, however, consider taking on owners who will not necessarily be operators.) You should be clear that the franchise business not only appears to be a moneymaking but one in which you will enjoy making your money. You will be investing tons on time in your operation. To zero in on how to find the right franchise, make sure the franchise is enjoyable to you, otherwise there is no point in having your own business.
As you begin your search to find the right franchise, consider your interests. What do you most like to do? Then direct your search toward those areas that most closely match your interests and skills. This will ensure that you are on track to find the right franchise.
2. A fee structure you can live with.
To find the right franchise, you must be able to afford it. Make sure you fully understand what fees are involved — all of the fees. What products or services will you be expected to buy from the franchisor? Can you purchase products from other sources? Will they provide you with a list of names of these sources?
A legitimate franchisor is just as eager for you to succeed as you are. S/he’ll carefully go over with you the costs involved in starting your business. Those costs will include not only the franchise fee itself, but a business site, inventory, insurance, equipment, wages for employees and working capital.
Could you save money by leasing equipment required for the franchise, rather than purchasing it? Could you, for example, save money by converting an existing fast-food location into the new fast-food franchise or must you start from scratch?
3. Name recognition.
The reason franchises are so popular is that franchisees are able to capitalize on the success of an established business — and its name.
You’ll want to associate yourself with a franchise that has established name recognition. You are buying a “proven system” of doing business. Is the name one your customers will immediately recognize? Is it one they trust? Has the company been a target of law suits? What have these suits done to the company name? To find the right franchise, make sure you investigate the companies you are considering.
4. A strong training program.
A well-developed training program, including sound operations manuals, procedural handbooks, on-site training and on-going training opportunities is essential to your success as a franchisee.
You’ll want to receive information on sales, inventory control, merchandising and operations. In addition many franchises offer training on general business skills such as hiring and training employees, etc.
Does the franchisor have a program for follow-up support, seminars? Does the franchisor provide telephone support and additional on-site training sessions for you and for your employees? How much do they cost? Is there a company newsletter to keep you informed about the goings-on of your fellow franchisees? Do you get together occasionally for an annual meeting?
5. A franchise that can boast of other successful franchisees.
Check references. Ask those references for other references — don’t check just the names you’re given. Satisfied franchisees are your green light to a successful choice.
The best thing you can do is to visit the site of some of these “successful” franchisees. Call in advance and make an appointment. Sit down with a current franchisee and ask them a batch of questions. Most will be agreeable–they were once in your shoes.
For more information on how to find the right franchise, visit www.franchise.org , the website of the International Franchise Association.