Fresh Coat Franchise Blog
Know yourself to find the right franchise for your lifestyle
Business ownership appeals to a broad spectrum of people. But, often they’re stopped in their tracks when they begin to see all the potential pitfalls. For them, franchising may be the best option because most of those pitfalls have been addressed through the establishment of the business model. The next challenge becomes which franchise to buy as there hundreds available in scores of categories.
It’s worth taking the time to get to know yourself and your priorities. Where do you want to work? What type of goods or services do you want to provide? Who will make up your team? How much money can you afford to invest? Will you be able to make money right away, and if not, how long will you need to support your lifestyle until you can?
Establish your priorities because they will serve as your guiding force in evaluating franchise opportunities. Ask questions and express any concerns. Each franchisor should be able to address all your priorities, especially those at the top of your list.
Suppose you need to be able to make money right away. You’ll want to ask about the cost of the initial investment including not only the franchise fees, but also leases, equipment, supplies and other operating costs. You’ll need to understand the demand for the product or service and how soon you can expect to start receiving a return on your investment. For you, you’ll want a franchise that provides lower startup costs with both high sales volume and a high profit margin.
Suppose it’s more important to you that you provide goods or services that offer a real value to clients. You’ll want to consider what types of business categories “fit” with your priority. Take the time to read reviews from those who have used the product or service. Check out trade magazines and other media reports to determine how the company makes its products and how it responses to client concerns. For you, you’ll want an ethical organization that puts its focus on quality and professionalism.
Although the franchisor can provide answers to many of your questions, you’ll also want to learn about the day-to-day operations of the business. If possible, you’ll want to talk with current franchise owners to learn about how the business model plays out in the real world. Ask them about their successes and frustrations, their ideas for new products or services, and their vision for themselves and the company.
Suppose it’s important that you be able to balance your work and home life. Current franchise owners can offer valuable insights with regard to the time commitment as well as the management requirements. They’ll also know how often you’ll need to interact with staff and whether you can do that by phone or email rather than in person. Their experience can be a guide as to how much time the business really takes during the launch as well as in later years.
Whatever your priorities, understand the importance of the written documentation. Regardless of what may be said verbally, what’s written in the contract is the foundation for the entire agreement. It will provide details about your territory and its exclusivity. It also will document the level of company support in marketing, training and resources. Take heed, too, that the agreement provides keen insights into the company’s priorities, especially how it sees your role within the organization.
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