Advice & TipsMay/June 2023Previous Issues

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Started in Franchising

Key considerations for entrepreneurs entering the franchise industry

When it comes to starting a franchise business, you know it’s important to undertake the proper due diligence and learn the ins and outs of the system you plan to join.

This is an important step, but it’s also important to take stock of yourself before you sign that franchise agreement, to ensure franchising is the best fit for you.

Just as there’s a financial investment to successful franchising, franchisees must be emotionally and personally involved in the development and growth of their franchise.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before starting on your franchise journey. These questions can serve as a guide to help you determine if you’re ready to launch and maintain a franchise business in your community.

Are you ready to follow a system?

Joining a franchise means that the operational and managerial processes have been boiled down to a system of best practices that can be applied across all units and markets. People who follow systems and processes are naturally going to thrive more in a franchise than those who prefer to try to reinvent the wheel.

When you’re putting in hard work and long hours, it can be hard to remember that business success isn’t created overnight. A strong system will give you support from the start, but it still takes time for customers and clients to develop familiarity with your franchise, especially in new markets. If you can be patient and stick through the development period toward profitability, you could be well on your way to franchise success.

Are you financially prepared?

You sought out and made connections with a proven concept, but it will take time to build loyalty among the clients in your new market. Ensure your budget accounts for upfront and start-up costs like the franchise fee, but also has enough working capital to float your business until it becomes profitable. It’s important to remember that this can take up to two years.

Do you possess the spirit of entrepreneurship?

So, what happens if you realize your franchise idea isn’t taking to a certain territory or lacks the resources to maintain growth? Do you stubbornly keep trying the same processes while expecting different results? Of course not. Although franchisors should offer guidance and support in best practices, no one knows the community like someone who lives in it—you! You’re going to need to rely on your sense of entrepreneurship and get creative in growing your business. Part of that means being adaptable, whether that means planning new advertising/marketing campaigns, developing new programs, or integrating new sales strategies. You should also be prepared to work with your franchisor as you look to make any changes, as they can offer valuable resources and tools. Your franchisor may also look to carry out system-wide changes, such as rebranding or renovations.

Do you possess key leadership skills?

While you rely on the franchise system for support, your managers and team members will look to you for guidance as they carry out the day-to-day operations. At the same time, you’ll need to rely on managers and other key people to provide a consistent brand experience for customers, as you can’t do it all on your own. It’s essential to delegate and trust the team, while creating a buy-in experience so team members feel valued. It’s up to you to motivate team members, provide guidance, and solve any issues as they arise.

Have you developed a sense of grit?

To help your franchise business thrive, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to make it a success, especially in the first three months of learning the system and laying the foundation for a strong business. Between the long hours, getting used to a new concept, and being financially invested, it’s easy to get overwhelmed as a new franchisee. But remember: you went through the due diligence of verifying this opportunity; now it’s time to dig in and make it work for you.

Are you sales-oriented?

This is a key trait! Franchising may be turnkey, but that doesn’t mean that the sales are built in. Any existing business experience will provide you with transferrable skills that can apply to running a franchise business. Many franchises call for business acumen as an asset for new franchisees, as you’ll play a key role in generating sales for your business. You’ll need to generate leads by being proactive in finding customers: be prepared to engage with your community through networking initiatives, supporting social endeavours, and more.

Is your family on board and supportive?

Starting a new business can bring on a lot of changes for your family and internal network. The long days, financial burden, and pressure to perform will impact you, as well as your family. The most successful franchisees are those who have family members supporting them through the ups and downs of being a business owner.

Are you community-oriented?

Franchising is a people-focused business. As a franchisee, you’ll regularly interact with members of your own
team, franchise head office, and other franchisees, but it’s also important to spend time with members of your community. Owners who are comfortable getting out into their community and engaging with local residents typically do a better job of maximizing their opportunities. This can be anything from calling in favours with media connections, attending networking events, and developing partnerships. Whichever position you’re in along the franchise journey, building your network is integral to your success.

Are you passionate about this brand/opportunity?

As they say, when you’ve found the career that you’re truly passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work at all. If you don’t absolutely love the brand or the people behind it, that will make it hard for you to build and grow the franchise. You need to be excited about waking up every day and putting your primary attention on the business. Can you see yourself working in this franchise for years or decades to come? Does the idea of physical and emotional investment in the franchise inspire you, or make you feel wary? These are important questions you need to ask yourself as you settle on the right franchise path for you.

Are you a collaborative/team-oriented individual?

As previously mentioned, you can’t successfully run a franchise on your own; trusting your staff and collaborating on solutions is often the best way forward. This can also help you solve any problems that may arise—by turning to the franchisor or fellow franchisees for advice, you can solve common issues with help from those who have the relevant experience. It’s also important to lean on your franchisor for continuous support, taking advantage of any available resources and tools.

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these 10 important questions, you might be ready to make your business ownership dreams a reality through franchising. Visit FranchiseCanada.Online for more resources to help you along your franchise journey.