Franchises are businesses connected to a more extensive network of a corporate company. The owner of the corporate group is usually called the franchiser or franchisor. They sell the rights and license of their business to an independent owner, called the franchisee.
Business transactions like these allow the franchisee to use the logo, products, and business name at a location of their choice. It is also typical among industries like fast food restaurants, fitness and wellness groups, or supermarket chains.
According to Statista, there are around 792,000 franchise establishments in the United States alone. Furthermore, a statistic like this could indicate a sustainable and profitable business model. However, before rushing to find such an opportunity, here are a few questions to ponder:
1. How successful is the franchise group?
Knowing how successful the franchise group is could indicate the individual successes of their franchisees. Without the proper assistance and business strategies, the franchise group could fall flat. Looking at past experiences by other franchisees, the public, and the franchisor’s employees should indicate how the stakeholders manage their business.
New franchise owners wouldn’t want to struggle with getting the support they need while starting a new business. Consequently, those looking for franchise opportunities may need to do thorough research on the background of the franchise group before deciding.
2. What does the contract include?
Franchising involves much legal paperwork to complete and sign off between the parties. New business owners often are unaware of the exact stipulations of these contracts, which could make them feel overwhelmed.
For this reason, it could be best to enlist the help of a franchise lawyer. They can explain all the legal terms and spot any potential pitfalls in the contract. Moreover, using their services could protect the new owner from signing for something that could cost them a lot more later. For example, in the case of existing franchise opportunities, there could be legal disputes about labor and wages.
3. Does the franchisor offer training and support?
Unless franchisees own a similar franchise, they could be unaware of the operational requirements and finances, among other crucial aspects. Fortunately, most franchisors offer training, mentoring, and additional support.
It could indicate how dedicated the group is to helping their franchisees and, in turn, their group succeeds. Long-term assistance could also be a safety net for those needing help along their business journey.
4. Do you understand the business market?
One of the biggest mistakes new franchise owners could make is believing that the customers will automatically support them. However, using the larger corporation’s name, logo, and reputation may only take them part of the way.
A franchising business plan consultant can explain the intricacies of starting a business, including location, marketing, and more. Without their expertise, the franchisee may not understand their target market and how to cater to their needs. Furthermore, it could lead to the business closing prematurely and the franchisee losing their investment.
5. Are there any restrictions from the franchisor?
Depending on the type of franchise the person opts for, there could be restrictions from the franchisor. Some of these could include the following:
- Not using any other software except the recommended packages
- Specific management models
- Payment or wage contracts for employees
- Only using prescribed marketing materials
Franchisees may have to consider the restrictions and decide if they will abide by them before signing an agreement.
6. What are the various franchisee fees?
Establishing a feasible franchise includes budgeting for the various franchisee fees. Although not all franchises will have the same corporate fees, there could be similarities between the businesses. Below are some of the costs to include in the financial plan:
- Rates and taxes for the property
- Business taxes
- Master franchise fees
- Business registration costs
- Annual renewal fees
- Payment processing charges
- Software licensing fees
- Ownership transfer costs
These are only a few, and franchisees should carefully read through the contract for other requirements from the corporation. In the context of financial planning, it’s also wise to consider an affordable franchise option. These franchises require lower initial investment and operating costs, making them accessible for entrepreneurs with limited capital.
While additional fees like those for a lawyer or business consultant are essential, this type of franchise can mitigate some of the financial barriers to entry, allowing you to start your business journey with a recognized brand and support system at a more manageable cost.
7. Do you agree with the company culture?
Company culture speaks volumes about how engaged the employees are and their happiness in general while working at the company. Major corporations usually have a list of company values and morals they strive to uphold. Therefore, franchisees can request to view the company policies and observe them at some existing franchise branches.
This information could be priceless as it could assist the franchisee in deciding whether they agree with this culture. Being around like-minded, passionate people striving for the same goal may make the franchise journey easier.
Coming to conclusion
Franchising could undoubtedly be an excellent investment opportunity. However, entrepreneurs thinking of becoming franchise owners should reflect before starting their franchise businesses. By answering the most crucial questions franchisees should know, they are placing themselves on a path to success.