Franchising 101 September/October 2017

7 Signs You Should Invest in a Franchise

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Thinking about becoming a franchisee? How do you know when the time is right to move forward and sign on the dotted line? When observed together, these seven signs can indicate that there might be a franchise grand opening in your future.

 1. You’ve included your family.

When you’re considering franchising, the first people who need to be on board with this plan are your family members. Even if they aren’t going to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your new venture, having their support will play a huge role in your success as a franchisee. If you’re planning on investing in a franchise with financial assistance from family, it’s understandably even more important to keep them in the loop. Creating a clear plan for roles your family members might play in the operation of the franchise, whether it’s financial, hands-on, or moral support, before you sign on will help everyone feel included.

 2. You’ve assessed your financial situation.

Knowing your net worth, the assets you hold, the amount of cash you have on hand, and what portion of your franchise investment will be repayable is key to your success. This information will give you a better idea of the budget you have to invest. An important part of selecting a franchise that is the right fit for you is selecting one that fits your financial capabilities without overextending yourself, as going into a business venture without proper funding is one of the main causes of failure.

3. You’ve done your research.

A proper due diligence process will see you investigate and evaluate all aspects of the franchise opportunities in which you’re interested. Reading the website and other franchise literature, getting background on the company and its history, meeting with the franchise development team and other personnel, speaking with current and former franchisees to get their ‘frontline’ views – there are all great ways to find out more. You’ll also want to bring the professionals on board to assist as needed: a franchise consultant can help you narrow your search, a franchise accountant can assist you in crunching the numbers, a franchise lawyer can review all documentation and contracts and help you to fully understand them, etc.

4. You’ve met with the important players.

They say a franchise agreement is like a marriage – two different sides coming together to work on creating something of value for all involved. This makes it vitally important for you, as a prospective franchisee, to meet with the key people you’ll be working with if you enter into the relationship. Just as you are evaluating the company, they will also be gauging your fit within the system’s culture to help ensure a good match, and the best way to accomplish this is by meeting face to face.

5. You’re ready to work hard.

The term “invest in a franchise” is used for starting a franchise location, but that doesn’t mean you can simply invest your funds, walk away, and expect to reap the benefits. The majority of franchise opportunities will require you, as the owner/operator, to invest not only your money, but also your time, talents, and hard work. Many franchises require franchisees to work hands-on in their business, so that they have detailed knowledge on its daily operations.

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6. You’re prepared for a change.

No matter your background, becoming a franchisee can mean stepping a bit outside your comfort zone. Where you may have worked for someone else before, as a franchisee you will be “the boss” at your location. If you previously ran your own independent business, as a franchisee you will be part of a system and have the support of that system backing you. Other changes you might experience could include those to your schedule or work/life balance. Some changes will be positive, others may be challenging, but the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to take the changes in stride. And, you will have a peer network of other franchisees who have probably experienced something similar to help you out, should you need it.

7. Your gut instincts are saying “GO.”

This sign is one that only you can see or feel. Once you’ve discussed opportunities with your family, taken stock of your financial capabilities, done your due diligence, met with the franchise team, and prepared yourself for hard work and a change of pace, you’ll need to ask yourself if you’re ready. If all of the research and preparation you’ve done has given you the green light, and your intuition is saying the same thing – congratulations; you could soon be on your way to opening your own franchise location!