So, you’re thinking about investing in a franchise? It’s a great way to jump into business ownership with the support of a brand with an existing image and networking system. However, buying into the best franchise for yourself at the right time takes strategy and knowledge in the industry. Sean Fitzgerald, CFE at No Limit Agency and franchising expert, shares 5 things young investors should know before buying a franchise.
1.) Research, Research, Research
Franchising offers endless opportunities in a variety of industry and brands. You’ll have to do extensive research to determine which franchise brand fits your personal and business values best. Online business outlets offer rankings of the top franchises with information on the company’s background, start-up cost and more helpful resources. There are also several franchise consulting firms that provide individuals with a franchising mentor to guide them through the process of choosing a franchise and signing for a location. Make sure you put in an ample amount of time and thought into picking the most practical franchise brand for your next investment.
2.) Success is Not Guaranteed, Working Hard is Required
Like any new business ownership, success is not guaranteed and it can take months to years to get your franchise up and running smoothly. Franchising provides its owners with an existing business model to work alongside and pull certain mechanisms from. However, not every franchise location is the same. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to apply your own tactics and education to your company and implement a strategic business plan.
“Be prepared to work harder than you have in your life,” said Fitzgerald. “The good news is you’re young and have energy. Be prepared for long hours and a lot of effort. It’s the hardest job you will ever have, and it could be the most rewarding.”
If you put in the work and hire the right staff, your franchise can blossom into a successful investment.
3.) Play by the Rules
While franchise ownership offers the freedom of owning your own business, you must adhere to the guidelines and principles of the brand. It’s important in franchising to follow the process and directions provided to you by corporate. The franchise model is created to help franchisees in the system as well as facilitate an overarching cohesiveness across all locations.
“If you don’t like following a process the franchise model is not for you,” said Fitzgerald.
4.) Take Advantage of the Support System
The great thing about working in franchising is the built-in networking system that comes along. Several franchise owners have been with their brands for several years and gained a plethora of knowledge about the company and its industry. Get to know these people and reach out to them as often as possible when starting out.
“Even though you’re buying into a system, there are best practices an experienced mentor can teach you and help you in the first years,” said Fitzgerald.
These seasoned franchisees can help you become educated on both the brand and franchising in general.
5.) Be a Leader
In any case of business ownership, hold your own and lead your employees as well as others in the franchise system. Once you’ve become comfortable with the brand and more educated on its values and role in the industry, you’ll be able to confidently take a in representing you franchise brand. Your franchise location is your business and while it’s helpful to have the support of the franchise model behind you, it’s important to hold yourself accountable for the success of your location.
“It’s your business in all aspects of it,” said Fitzgerald. “You have to make it happen. Don’t rely on anyone to solve your problems.”