Franchising is hugely popular with a lot of people who want to take the first step into profitable self-employment. There are a vast number of franchises across a broad range of industries, which means that there is invariably the right package for each individual, regardless of their background, aspirations and interests. However, franchises of all kinds do have a number of common factors and considerations which must be carefully worked through before making the decision to invest. Here is a look at some of the most important factors to consider before taking the leap.
Know What Attracts You to Franchising
Have you fallen in love with a particular brand and would like to be part of it? Are you an investor, looking for your next big opportunity to see a real return on your capital? Are you interested in working for a proven system and having the satisfaction of owning your own business? There are a wide number of drivers behind franchising and everyone will have their own motivations. But knowing what drives you can be very useful as you start to evaluate the industry and your suitability for it.
Am I Really Happy to Work According to a System?
At the heart of franchising lies the premise of a proven business system that is replicated faithfully throughout the franchise brand. When you invest in a franchise, you invest in a system that you must adhere to. This is because that business model has been proven and is recognised by customers as part of the brand. For a brand to succeed via the franchise model, customers must receive a consistent experience, service and product regardless of which outlet they purchase it from. This means that if you're happy with the idea of working to a model, you are likely to be very successful (bear in mind that franchises are far likely to succeed than independent start-up businesses.) However, if you crave the freedom of making your own decisions and using your entrepreneurial flair, you might find that the franchising model isn't for you and you should consider setting up your own independent business.
Are You Ready to Work in a Team?
With a franchise, you are part of a network and when you learn the franchise system you will need to be prepared to accept some advice and even criticism as you are trained how to operate the branded system to the correct standards. This can be tricky for some people who have bought into the franchise world without understanding what it involves. You will also be joining a franchisee network and, at times, decisions that benefit the network as a whole may not be the path that you would necessarily choose if left to your own devices. Remember that as a franchise you are part of something bigger. And, of course, this is half of the attraction for many, who value being part of a bigger and successful team.
Do You Know What You're Buying?
Remember that if you set up your own independent business or buy one, it is entirely yours. You can change the product or service offering, create your own policies and brand, cut deals with suppliers of your choice, charge what you like and generally make whichever decisions you feel are right. But with a franchise, consistency lies at the heart of the business. You will have to operate according to a defined set of standards and any changes to the model will need authorisation from the franchisor. This can be difficult for some people but others love the structure and foundation of franchising and trust that the system is correct for them to achieve success.
Are You Ready to Own Your Own Franchised Business?
Moving from being an employee to having your own business is a big step and carries a lot of responsibility. With a franchise, the responsibility of the business's success will be entirely yours. You will need to put a vast amount of energy, time and resources into it. You'll be experiencing a sharp learning curve, meeting fresh challenges and getting used to a new way of working. This can be hard at first, but you will have the support of your franchise network and the training sessions you attend will help you to begin to feel part of something bigger.