Five Franchisee Obstacles to Overcome

16/08/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Franchisee obstacles to overcome

For franchisees, getting your first business up and running can be tough. It's often a tricky learning experience that involves overcoming obstacles, only to encounter another, then another, and another. The good news is that this doesn't last forever. It's also reassuring to know that you have the support and guidance of an experienced franchisor. We're here to lend a helping hand, too. In this article, we list the five most common obstacles franchisees are likely to encounter and detail how you can overcome them.

1. Franchise finances and budget

Possibly the biggest obstacles to overcome on the way to becoming a franchisee are financial and budgetary constraints. Whether its raising the initial investment, discovering that the true franchise cost is more than you expected, or struggling to keep the business afloat during those difficult first few months, finances can cause a lot of problems.

The best way to overcome such obstacles is to ensure that you're well informed and capable of intelligent decision-making. Do your research and find out the true cost of starting up a franchise. Most franchises advertise a minimum initial investment,' that is considerably less than the amount you'll actually require to get the franchise up and running. A more accurate figure can be reached by discussing the issue with your franchisor and requesting access to the Franchise Disclosure Document. It's also important to research the different ways you can finance your franchise. The best franchisees are those who are aware of all of the available options (within reason) before they commit.

2. Conflicts between professional desires and personal life

Though we all try to distinguish the personal the professional and attempt to keep them separate, the reality is that our professional lives have an enormous impact on our personal lives. If were not careful, stress in the workplace quickly manifests itself at home, often causing problems with friends and family.

The strain this places on relationships can be exacerbated by a lack of communication or a relative not realising what franchising entails. For instance, your partner may not realise how much work is required for a franchise to succeed or your parents may not fully understand what path your career is taking. To avoid this, prospective franchisees need to ensure that theyre open and honest with those around them, as well as clearly communicating their intentions.

3. Paralysis of choice

Paralysis of choice is a modern problem. Essentially, its the idea that greater choice prevents us from making decisions. Were overwhelmed by choice and, consequently, find it difficult to come to a final decision. While this concept, as well as similar concepts like the paradox of choice, are typically applied to consumers, they are definitely relatable to the position prospective franchisees often find themselves in.

In recent years, the franchise system has expanded to encompass an enormous number of franchised businesses. Its a rapidly expanding sector thats attracting a large number of business-orientated individuals. This means that there are often too many options for a franchisee to choose between and, if you're not careful, you'll find that you spend a great deal of time investigating franchises that aren't suitable.

One of the best ways to overcome this problem is by talking to those already in the franchising industry. Whether it's ex-franchisees, existing franchisees, or franchisors, most people will be more than happy to provide you with a little advice. Similarly, trade magazines and other print and digital publications are useful sources of information. Finally, you could also use a franchise broker, who will provide you with a number of suitable options based on your personal preferences.

4. Wasted time

Wasted time is the number one enemy of businesspeople the world over. As they say, time is money - and money is what makes the world go round. With franchising, wasted time is an issue because it represents wasted resources. Your time, effort, and financial resources are valuable commodities. They need to be utilised effectively.

Conducting research into franchises that youll never be able to afford, filling in applications for financing that youll never receive, or discussing franchise opportunities with a business that you won't qualify for, is simply a waste of time. While we would never condemn ambition, it's also necessary to be realistic. Otherwise, you'll miss out on excellent franchise opportunities because you're chasing the unachievable.

5. Making the decision

Though it may seem like you spend an enormous amount of time rushing towards the point where you're ready to sign the franchise agreement and commit to your future, when it actually comes down to it, it's usually a nerve-wracking affair. While franchising is an incredibly attractive proposition, in theory, it demands a lot of dedication and many franchisees find they get last-minute jitters.

This is completely normal. To be honest, it would be a bit unusual if you werent a little nervous. A lack of nerves may suggest that youre not completely aware of the importance of the decision youre about to make, or of the impact its likely to have on your future. Dont worry too much about being nervous and prepare yourself for the fact that youre likely to feel the pressure in the few days leading up to the signing of the franchise agreement.

One of the key ways you can minimise nerves is by ensuring youre fully prepared and have performed thorough research into the franchise model and the particular organisation youre joining. As a businessperson, fear is best countered with a logical, rational approach. Being informed is the only way you can improve the odds of you making the right decision. So, if youve done your research, youve given yourself a good chance of getting it right, and have no reason to be nervous.

Conclusion
In the vast majority of cases, overcoming obstacles depends on franchisees ensuring that they're informed, focused, and aware of their end-goals. Being goal-orientated ensures that you're always pushing yourself forward while remaining focused means you're not wasting valuable resources. Last but not least, conducting thorough research and ensuring you're well informed gives you the best possible chance of making the right decision.

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