When potential investors are considering a franchise opportunity, their focus is usually consumed by immediate considerations, such as finding a location, raising funds and buying the necessary equipment. However, before purchasing a franchise, potential franchisees should think about how they will eventually sell or transfer it.

While it is good practice for franchisees to make immediate, short-term goals, it is equally important to identify their endgoal - the ultimate result of their business venture, Entrepreneur magazine reports. Discussing an exitstrategy before even celebrating a grand opening can seem perverse, yet a true competitor always has the target in his or her sights.

In today’s slowly recovering economy, having exit options can assuage many potential franchisees’ fears of investment. Interested investors should speak with current franchisees and discuss the “what if” of a business transfer. “The best antidote to fear is knowledge,” the magazine writes. “Knowing you have options and control over your future is empowering.”

Consider one successful franchisee who had reached retirement age and had been planning to pass his franchise on to a family member. According to Entrepreneur, the 70-year-old franchisee ran into trouble when the family member did not have enough experience and was not invested in making the transaction successful. However, by reaching out to additional family members, he was able to make a smooth transfer.

A successful franchise is designed to survive - given support, training and inspiration from its parent franchise. However, without planning, a business can hit a rocky patch when owners are looking to transfer. The franchisee above proved lucky. Many franchisees only plan for five or 10 years at a time.

For example, Joe Lindenmayer, the article’s author, witnessed his father’s business be sold, split up and shut down due to a short-term vision, he writes.

Potential franchisees should consider the current business market and where it’s most likely to be in five to 20 years. Additionally, if a franchisee hopes to pass on the business to a family member one day, they should begin to consult with that individual. Is it an option for them financially? How will they need to be prepared?

Considering the endgame is just one of several goals a franchisee should set for success. Short-term goals are just as important, and provide franchisees with a plan against which they can track their progress, Entrepreneur writes. These goals should range from financial targets to quality-of-life factors.

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