When you are looking to start a business, you may be interested in the idea of a franchise. That way, you get to be your own boss and use your drive and ambition. But, you’ll have a proven business model to support you.
Starting as a franchisee can be a quicker route to getting a business up and running but it still means you need to be driven to succeed and have to get very organised with your planning. Depending on the specific franchise you choose, fees and setting up times will vary. This could mean it takes a little longer to get up and running as there are contracts to sign before you can start, which aren’t there if you choose to create your own business from scratch. However, following an established business model will mean you can bypass many start-up issues. That way, you can be ready to go with a brand that has already done a lot of the reputation building for you.
If you are considering franchising
- Research your market and area – think about what you like or would love to do to earn a living. If you have an interest or knowledge in a specific area, you will find your work more enjoyable. Consider your strengths and weakness, and find opportunities that work with them. If you enjoy cooking food, for example, could a mobile food truck business be right for you?
- Look at what is missing. Is there an opportunity that fills gaps in your area? Ascertain where you see growth opportunity and where possible, speak to other owners within the area or the franchise market you are interested in.
- Request franchise information – Phone and request or download information. Always ask if there are any open days or prospective franchiser meetings. You can attend these to get a real feel for the business.
- Evaluate the investment required – once you know the markets you are interested in, determine the amount of capital and other resources you will need. Find out the upfront franchise costs, the frequency and amount of any ongoing payments. Look at how much working capital you will need and what other money is needed for any additional equipment or premises necessary. And remember than even though you may not need business premises for a lot of online franchise opportunities you may still need storage space for your business and the associated costs for that.
- Funding – You may need to borrow to cover franchise opening costs. Check out these fundraising for small business suggestions, ask if your franchiser has an approved lender list. Or, approach your bank or other lending sources to secure the best deal. Be prepared to provide a robust business plan and pass credit checks.
- Check the legalities – check the franchise agreement and be prepared to enlist the help of a lawyer. You may also need an accountant or qualified franchise professional before making the final decision. Remember, if you are working with a franchise consultant, they are often paid by commission, so they may have a vested interest in you signing.
Final thoughts on starting a franchise
The British Franchise Association, franchise exhibitions and adverts in the national press can help you find out about existing opportunities. They can also help you meet with other franchisors and franchisees. That way find out what you need about the franchise world.