If you’ve always wanted to own your own business, buying a franchise can be a good way to start. You will need some financial flexibility and to have faith in the brand you’re buying. You’ll also need to do your homework to make sure that your particular business follows the laws of your state, county, and city, as well as following the rules of the franchisor.
Guidance is Part of the Package
When you sign up with a strong franchise organization, the buy-in goes both ways. You will receive a great deal of data and no small amount of training that you’ll need to complete if you hope to build a thriving, profitable business. You may also be granted access to a mentor or online support team. This expertise and their viewpoints can also be a great source of information and guidance.
Challenges and problems will crop up as you lay the groundwork for your franchise; there is no change without some disruption. Make sure that your first source of information during these early stages is
- your franchise agreement
- your training materials
- your mentor and support community
Problem-Solvers Will Thrive
When selecting the best franchise for your business goals, take the time to do a bit of navel-gazing. Do you need to forge your own path, or can you follow another production plan? Mavericks who want to build something totally new often chafe under the rules and restrictions of being a franchisee. If you want to build a one of a kind sandwich, don’t buy a national sandwich or burger chain. Study your market, learn about location options, and keep an eye on the targets you need to hit as a franchisee.
If you can’t keep your eye on the big goal of becoming profitable within the structure and support offered by the franchisor plan, you won’t be happy putting in the work to become a member of any franchise, no matter how much you support it. This is not to say there isn’t a space for mavericks in the business world, as mavericks can be wildly successful. But mavericks in the world of franchise are seldom satisfied.
Sticking with the Program
If you’re not totally sure about your ability to thrive as a franchise owner, remember that there are many franchise opportunities, for many personality types, on the market. Put some time in on quizzes that allow you to determine the business that best suits
- your personality
- the time you have to put into the business, and
- the capital you currently have access to
There are franchises that require you to have a brick and mortar footprint, and franchises that you can start from a table in a coffee shop. Our increasingly mobile society means that, as people move from town to town, the goal is to find something familiar. By being able to share a well-known and respectable brand, your future business success will start with a boost that a stand-alone business can’t count on.
Capital is Critical
You’ll need money to start your business. You may need to get financing from the franchisor, tap into savings, or access another source of funds. In addition, it’s important to take a look at your personal resources. Will you be working at your franchise facility, or will you keep your current job? When will you be reviewing improvements and expansions? When you’re a self-employed business owner, you can end up pushing yourself too hard, and your boss in the mirror can turn into a real jerk.
If you expect to save money working for your business, be aware that you won’t be working on your business unless you’re doing it after hours. Exhaustion, family stress and being constantly under pressure may work for a short time, but you will need to establish a business that allows you to have a life as well as an income stream. Protect all of your resources.
Buying into a franchise can be an excellent way to increase your income stream. Once you have the program under your best, you can quickly expand. Take care to truly understand what makes your business senses tick before you buy in, and always refer back to the playbook, or your training and franchisee documentation.