Finding a franchise business opportunity that best suits you can be a challenge. Before you sign the dotted line, answer the following questions to help you understand your options and find your franchise fit.
1. Are you ready?
Seriously, are you ready to own and operate a business and be responsible for your employees’ livelihoods? If you said “yes,” then take a long, hard look at your personal and financial readiness. Make sure you have the support of your loved ones, ample time to commit, and strong dedication needed to operate a franchise. Find out the costs and fees associated with starting and maintaining the franchise you want. Can you afford to finance this franchise? Underestimating your expenses and poor cash flow, especially in the first year, are top reasons some small businesses fail.
2. Is it worth your investment?
Weigh your risks and rewards. Investing in a business, whether it’s a franchise or not, is risky. Fortunately, franchises have a long list of benefits. With the right franchise, your investment pays for a proven business model, operations and technology support, brand awareness, marketing strategy, training opportunities and more.
3. Is the franchise financially sound?
Imagine putting thousands of dollars and tireless energy into building your business, only to be forced to close. Thorough research can help you better understand the franchise’s financial and economic stability. Start with credible, unbiased sites such as franchising.com, franchise.org and franchisebusinessreview.com. Read news articles, rankings, reports and trends. Do you see demand for this product or service for years to come? Is the franchise growing and evolving? Does the franchise have a long-term vision? Meet with franchise executives to ask questions and follow up on your findings.
4. What support does the franchisor offer?
Does the franchisor provide loans or other financial assistance? Are there training opportunities or coaching programs? Is there marketing assistance? Transparency is key in a franchisor-franchisee relationship. Learn what makes the business model successful and look for growth opportunities within the company and industry. The franchisor should be willing to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can make a confident, informed decision.
5. Does your personality fit the franchise?
As a franchisee, you’ll follow standards and guidelines put in place by the franchisor. It’s essential that you trust the franchise and believe in the business model. Begin building this trust by meeting with corporate leaders to discuss their support and create relationships. Contact past and present franchisees to learn from their experience. It’s easier to be motivated when you believe in the brand and the people behind it.