Franchisees explain what factors to consider when buying a franchise.
No business venture comes without risk, and there is never a guarantee of success. While many succeed, others fail because they don’t have the proper support and procedural systems in place. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Becoming a franchisee has its benefits, and a stable support system with procedural guidelines is one of them. You can be the business owner you want, but you are not left to figure out every single detail on your own. Buying into a good franchise is like having loving parents that are there for you when you need them, but give you space to grow and learn as you please. That’s why 1851 Franchise spoke to the experts to review not just the different reasons why people become franchisees, but also the realistic way in which everything comes together.
1. Support and Procedures
There are so many things that go into running a business day-to-day. It’s not as easy as picking a brand you like—there is a learning curve a majority of the time for people when they run their first business. But franchises have built in proven procedures in place and can help a franchisee as they enter the learning curve.
“Making the leap to buying a franchise was really about having a model to follow,” Allen Meretsky, co-franchisee of GYMGUYZ in New Jersey said. “It’s a much easier way to start a business as opposed to doing it on your own, and having a model that works means a smoother transition.”
2. Creative Freedom within Support
While franchises have a support system in place designed for success, they often times allow individual franchisees the freedom to make their mark on their location. If there is something that they feel could help business, they can do it.
“[Allen and I] feel like we have good ideas and creativity,” Rob Gasko, co-franchisee of GYMGUYZ in New Jersey said. “GYMGUYZ seemed like the most innovative, forward thinking brand that we considered. While there are certain guidelines to follow, you can do whatever you want to help your brand grow.”
3. Passion for the Product
How can you sell others on your brand if you can’t sell it to yourself? It is essential to believe in the brand that you partner with. By joining a franchise, you don’t have to come up with the idea all on your own. Instead, you can become a franchisee with an existing brand that aligns well with your values.
“We loved the product and are very familiar,” said Mark Naman, a franchisee with Philly Pretzel Factory in South Bend, Indiana. “Our family spends the summers on the shore and visited the locations frequently. I wanted to bring it to a place where the concept doesn’t exist. Opening in Michiana – where I used to be a teacher at Notre Dame – allowed us to bring a new product to a market where it doesn’t have a presence and then grow further from there”
McAllen, Texas Miracle Method franchisee Spencer Hansen agrees that passion is a priority. He notes, “My wife and I were looking for a new career path and I wanted to follow my passion. I have always been and handyman and really enjoy repairing homes. I came across Miracle Method when I was researching career options, and was really interested in the business. Since we have nothing like it in the area, it seemed like a perfect opportunity and market to grow.”
1. How Can Franchise Coaches Help?
With so many franchise options out there, it can be hard to narrow down your options. But using a franchise coach can help to make the entire process clearer, both in what to buy and how to buy it.
“I learned about Welcomemat Services and its company culture while working with a small business coach, and I knew right away that it was the perfect match,” said Paul Grekowicz, a Welcomemat franchisee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I put everything else on hold and went with Welcomemat Services because it is a great fit between my values and ties to the community.”
2. How long does it take?
This question really depends on the person and the product. Some brands take less time to get up and running, while others require a storefront to be constructed and some can be operated out of one’s home. The process can take three months or three years, but that’s something that candidates should take into account before buying. Some aspiring franchisees also just take longer to commit, and that is completely normal.
“Some people come in waving money and want to start now, while others come in and don’t commit until two years later,” said JAN-PRO Master Franchisee Stephen Brodack. “There's really no specific answer, so it depends. People can be nervous at times.”
3. How much does it cost?
Again, this depends. Some brands cost more to partner with initially, but might have more proven long-term success. Other franchises might have a smaller buy-in fee –allowing for a quicker return on investment–but have less of a proven track-record compared to more established brands. Different overheads with different brands also need to be taken into account, because some operate out of their homes and some have to construct a storefront.