5 Ways to Get Franchisee Ready

14/04/2018 18:00 | Start a business

Becoming franchise ready

Becoming a franchisee is an attractive proposition for many business-minded individuals with a desire to manage their own organisation. Having considered the possibility of entering into a partnership with a franchise, it's necessary to prepare yourself in a number of different ways. Here, we take a look at five ways you can get franchisee ready and give yourself the best possible chance of success in your future business venture.

Understand the franchisor/franchisee relationship

When first considering becoming a franchisee, its vital that you explore the franchisor/franchisee relationship and understand exactly how it manifests itself in reality. Its often the case that would-be franchisees have certain preconceived notions as to what this relationship will look like, without having accumulated any first-hand experience to confirm them. Becoming a franchisee can differ radically from running a small, independent business and individuals need to be aware of the possibilities and limitations inherent in the franchising system.

Most importantly, potential franchisees must understand that their role will be strictly defined and that their ability to diverge from standard practices and regulations will be limited. In almost all cases, the franchisor will put in place procedures, processes and rules that the franchisee will be expected to follow to the letter. For the franchisor, this protects the franchises brand, ensures the same standards are maintained across all franchise outlets, and keeps their businesses running smoothly. For the franchisee, it provides a framework to work with and a pre-existing, efficient organisational structure from which they can benefit. However, it does also mean that the scope for individual creative action is reduced.

That being said, the franchise system does not prevent a talented and hard-working franchisee from succeeding. Instead, it means that only a particular type of business owner will prosper. If you have no problem abiding by a franchisors specific procedures and regulations, and also have the management, organisational, and motivational skills necessary to operate a small business, a franchise could be a good option.

Research different franchise systems and franchises Though we can make general assumptions about the franchising system as a whole, each franchise will have its own unique characteristics and establish itself in a slightly different way. In the most obvious sense, franchises differ depending on their product and the specific industry to which they belong.

Typically, an interest in your chosen professional field will be of great help when setting up a franchise. However, it will not be enough on its own. Franchises also differ depending on their operational methods. For instance, a franchise may sell the vast majority of their product via phone sales. No matter how interested you are in your chosen field of business, if you arent comfortable or capable of selling your product via the franchisors preferred methods, theres likely to be problems.

These variations in the franchising system mean that to prepare yourself adequately, extensive research into various franchises and their preferred business practices is absolutely essential. This can take multiple forms, but potential franchisees should take their time, try to speak to existing franchisees if possible, visit a franchise show, and ensure they look beyond superficial success stories. Readying yourself for opening up a franchise involves digging deep for as much franchise information as you can not only so you know whether its the right franchise for you, but also so you have an idea of what has gone right and wrong for franchisees in the past.

Explore real cost for franchisee

While its easy to find concrete start-up figures for most franchises, the numbers youll be given are usually a minimum costing that includes franchising, training and equipment fees. On top of this, a large marketing budget will probably be required to get the franchise off the ground. The real cost of becoming a franchisee isnt set in stone and individuals hoping to open up a franchise will need to give themselves a little breathing room to get started. To adequately prepare yourself, its necessary to take a realistic look at how much you're going to need to get the business off the ground.

This often involves performing a thorough cost analysis and ensuring the required funds are available to keep you going until the franchise begins turning a profit. Not all franchises will make a profit immediately, and many will take three months, six months or even a year of taking a net loss or breaking even before they reach a place of financial security and profitability. Potential franchisees need to prepare themselves mentally and financially for this eventuality. While it can take time to achieve such a stage, franchises can be incredibly profitable once they establish themselves.

Assess your own strengths and weaknesses

Once youve researched potential franchises and franchise models and explored their respective advantages and disadvantages, its time to turn attention towards your own strengths and weaknesses. Impartially assessing your own talents can be a challenging task. However, it's essential if you're to give yourself the best chance of success.

Franchisees can come from any background and have any professional history, but there tends to be a specific type of person that flourishes within the franchise system. While particular skills and talents will be better suited to specific industries and franchises, all franchisees need to be able to work within the existing franchise structure. This means following strict protocols and running your business according to others' wishes, demands and ideas. As a franchisee, youll be in charge of a small business thats part of a much larger organisation and, sometimes, will be forced to put the interest of the entire franchise before your personal interests. If youre willing and able to do so, its then a case of ensuring your personal strengths and weaknesses make you well-suited to your chosen franchise.

Meet the franchisor

Finally, it's usually a good idea to meet face-to-face with potential franchises before you make a choice and commit to one in particular. While everything can look perfect on paper, the franchisor/franchisee relationship is a close one, and you need to be completely sure that you're going to be able to work with the organisation supporting you.

This is the time to ask questions, gather all the information you can and get a feel for how the franchise interacts with franchisees, what they expect of franchisees, and what you can expect of them as franchisors. As youll be working hand-in-hand with the franchisor, its vital that you understand their business culture and feel as though you could operate efficiently in it. A good franchise business opportunity will be one that works for both parties.

Conclusion

For the most part, ensuring you are franchisee-ready involves gathering as much information as possible, making sure you understand how specific franchises operate and working out how well you fit into the business model. When it comes to franchising, knowledge is power. A well-informed franchisee will be prepared for any eventuality and have a comprehensive understanding of what is - and what isnt possible within the system.

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