With an estimated over 3,000 franchise brands in the US alone and many more operating globally, the choice of a potential franchisee looking to invest in a franchise brand can be daunting to say the least. With so many options available, how do you narrow the field and pinpoint the franchise opportunity that best suits your needs, meets your needs and expectations, and hopefully puts you on the path to business success?
What appeals to you and interests you?
The world of franchising encompasses so many different industries and areas. As a franchisee, you will be making a significant financial and emotional investment and will likely spend a significant amount of time in your business. It goes without saying that the franchise you invest in should be one that you like and have an interest or passion in. In my own field of children’s activities, you must enjoy working with children. If you are considering starting a gym franchise then interest in health and fitness would of course be a huge advantage and so on.
What are your goals?
Carefully research the reasons why you want to invest in a franchise and take on the role of business owner in the first place? Is it because you want to be your own boss? Are you looking for a better work-life balance or flexible working around the family? The answers to these basic questions will help you to significantly refine the field – whether that’s your focus on job franchises where the franchisee is deeply involved in the day-to-day business, because you want to roll up your sleeves for a customer-facing role, or the exploring franchise options where you can delegate day-to-day business to a team and take on a management role or even be further removed from the business.
Look up the finances
Be realistic about the amount of capital you have available to invest in a franchise as that will instantly narrow down your search criteria. Also, take a close look at your financial needs and goals, as it goes without saying that you need to ensure that your chosen business opportunity will meet them. Weigh the investment against the expected return.
What are your strengths and weaknesses and do you have the right skills?
An honest evaluation of your skills and areas where you have no knowledge or experience is essential when assessing the suitability of a franchise, as well as considering which jobs you like and which you don’t. See what experience and skills the franchisor considers essential or beneficial, what training is included as part of the franchise package, and what ongoing support and mentoring is available to help you close any skills gaps.
What commitment do you want to make?
Franchise terms can vary considerably, from short-term contracts for five years to as long as twenty years. A franchise agreement once signed can be difficult to negotiate, so consider how long you want to be comfortable with a brand.
Once you’ve narrowed down the franchise field and shortlisted the franchise opportunities that interest you most, then the real research begins! Take the time to get to know the brands and the franchisors, attend discovery events and speak with existing franchisees to find out what a “day in the life” really is like. Dive deep into the franchise values, company culture and available support within the team. Investing in a franchise is a huge decision which is why it is vital that you do your homework and take all due care to ensure that the franchise you ultimately choose is the best fit for you.