Being an entrepreneur comes with great opportunities. The biggest is how you can build a future that focuses on what you find most important in life. Certainly a primary factor for many is building financial stability by owning your own business. What about other factors though, such as a flexible schedule which can provide you with a harmony of work and life balance? Perhaps you are focused on your community and ways to enrich those around you? In many industries you will have to weigh the trade offs and examine your priorities, and in others you may be able to find everything you’re looking for.
Starting a new business can certainly be a daunting task, especially if this is your first time out on your own. If you are ready to be your own boss but find it a bit overwhelming to plan all on your own, franchising may be a great option for you.
When going through your options, it is first recommended to focus on an industry that meets your personal and financial needs. You want to make sure you’re investing in an industry that will put a smile on your face and you’ll be proud to own. Second, decide if you prefer to go at it alone, or if the benefits of a franchising model are appealing to you. On the franchising side, here are some things to consider to help narrow down options:
1: Do I want to be part of something big or part of something small?
In every industry, you can choose from franchise brands that are very large or rather small. You will get benefits in either case and ultimately it’s a personal preference based on what is most important to you. Be sure to examine what each brand will offer you and try for an apples to apples comparison of what you’ll experience as an owner in that franchise. For example, with larger brands you will typically have wider name recognition, however in certain geographic areas you may experience an oversaturation of other owners in that brand. If a customer likes the brand mission and values, how many options will they have to choose from in your area? With a smaller franchise, if the brand is new to the area you will have to focus on marketing to spread the word of your arrival. Once recognition is achieved, you’ll have the benefit of exclusivity in that area.
2: Do they have a proven business model?
The main power of a franchise brand that you are buying into is the structure of the business model. Not only do you want to choose a franchise with a long track record of success, but take the time to speak with other owners of that franchise to understand everything they’ve experienced throughout their process of choosing the franchise to daily operations. Any franchise company should provide you with an FDD, a Franchise Disclosure Document, which gives a complete picture of the financial strength, services you will receive, requirements, and ongoing costs associated with that franchise.
3: Would I be a customer of the brand?
Once you are a business owner, part of your job is to sell the products or services of that brand to your customers. If you don’t believe in the product, it will be difficult or exhausting for you to sell it. Choose a franchise that you fully believe in as the best option in the industry for your customers. If you wouldn’t buy it yourself, how successful will you be in convincing others to buy? In many cases you’ll have a support staff involved in selling, but just like motivating a customer to buy, you’ll have to motivate your staff to sell. Take pride in the product or service you are investing in and know that you’re providing value to your customer.
4: What level of support will I receive?
All franchise models will provide you with initial and ongoing support. How much of each will vary greatly with some franchisors helping you greatly in the initial phase and afterwords only providing minimal support. Others have a system to continuously support your business, recognize opportunities for growth and strategize plans for additional locations. How independent from the franchise brand are you looking to be as you run your business? Being part of a franchise not only means using their name on your building, but following guidelines in your day to day business. Be sure to research how invested the franchisor is in your ongoing success as a business owner? This is another key piece of information you can get when speaking to current franchise owners.
5: What does the long-term strategy look like?
It can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement and possibilities of owning your own business, either independently or through a franchise partnership. It’s very important though to look beyond the immediate process and explore what your business will look like in 5 years, in 10 years, or when you’re ready to exit the business. Having a progression plan in place should be a key factor in your decision. Be sure to have a clear understanding of any costs you will incur over the lifetime of business ownership and what the process will be when you decide to retire. Not all franchise regulations are created equal and before buying into a brand be sure to know the differences and how it will affect your financial benefit long-term.
If you would like to explore any of the above questions and how Creative World School Franchising may be the right path for you, please call us today at 800-362-5940.