10 Things to Know when Deciding to Franchise your Business
10 Things to Know when Deciding to Franchise your Business

While every journey through franchising is different, there are some standby rules to follow.

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to franchising—let alone anything in life—but there are a few standby nuggets of wisdom that every franchisee could stand to know. Here are 10 things to know when deciding to franchise your business.

It will probably cost more than you think. Sure, every business is coupled with its own startup costs and incidental expenditures, but there are plenty of hidden cash drains that lie in every franchise. Between legal costs and consulting fees, your expense account could start depleting quickly. Prepare yourself mentally and financially for the commitment that franchising demands.

A consistent brand image will be more crucial than ever. When you own a single-unit business, it’s fairly easy to re-brand or revamp your brand image—not so with franchising. All campaigns must be universal and consistent, so paint with a broad brush and resist the temptation of following whims.

Prepare yourself for a slew of paperwork. Every segment of business sector is padded with red tape and stacks of paperwork, especially franchising. From FDDs to Item 19s, educate yourself on industry jargon and best practices.

You’ll need to know how to do every job. Expecting your staff to do a job and do it well means that you should be able to see things from their perspectives. Whether you shadow a staffer or ask for an education on their roles, knowing how to do every job is crucial when running a franchise.

You will be a brand ambassador all day, every day. As a franchisor, you are the personification of your brand, which means that your work is never truly done. Keep in mind that your life will revolve around promoting your brand and representing it—there are no breaks.

You will have less control than ever before. There’s only one of you, and hopefully your franchise will continue to grow. That said, you will be less involved in your business at a micro level and must concede to becoming a “big picture” business owner. Becoming comfortable with this lack of control and learning to trust your staff will be a crucial element of your franchise’s success.

If you think franchising is easy, think again. The initial throes of growing any business are trying, and same goes for franchising. Gray hairs and sleepless nights will become the norm, so make sure you’re ready to make the commitment to your business.

You’re only as successful as your staff. In order to be successful, you’ll have to build a solid foundation of trustworthy, hardworking staffers to help make your franchising aspirations a reality. If you can invest time, money and trust in a core group of employees, then your franchise will surely be a success.

The first unit will likely be the toughest. Oftentimes, the maiden voyage into franchising is the most trying, as well. Working out all the kinks and devising an optimal management strategy demands trial-and-error. Resilience and a commitment to work intelligently is crucial during this point in the franchising process.

You will need to expand your network. If you hope for your business to grow, you need to grow with it. Networking with industry insiders and franchising professionals will help grow the name of your brand and expand your list of contacts.