Choosing the right franchise for you isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of careful consideration. The industry is large and dynamic, with a vast selection of franchising opportunities on offer. Where do you fit in? We’re here to help you find out.
Running a franchise takes a lot of time and work, and that’s why you need to invest your energy into ensuring you make the right investment for you. You need to choose a job you enjoy, that you want to show up to each day, and a sector that you’re passionate about in which you feel like your work truly matters.
However, it’s vital that you don’t simply make an emotional decision. A franchise is a significant financial investment that requires a lot of time and energy. If you get carried away and invest in a business that excites you but isn’t financially compatible with your goals, your franchise dreams could end in tears.
In this article, you’ll find out how to choose the right franchise for your unique situation, and you’ll discover everything that you need to consider along the way.
How to choose a franchise
When you’re trying to figure out how to begin a career with the right franchise, you need to know, first and foremost, what you’re looking for.
Choose a business that interests and excites you – enthusiasm is crucial! Also think about your personal goals – are they purely about making money or are you looking to achieve more of a work / life balance and spend more time with family? By asking yourself these fundamental questions, you can determine whether franchising is right for you and, if so, what sort of business will help you achieve these goals.
—Claire Robinson, Approved Franchise Association
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking for a part-time job, or a full-time job?
- Do you need this role to replace your salary? How much would you like to be earning a year or two from now?
- Are you interested in running more than one franchise at a time?
Knowing what you’re hoping to accomplish is half the battle, and if you can land on some solid answers to the above questions, you’ll be able to rule certain franchises out and count other franchises in.
Also, make sure that franchising is definitely the right route for you. Can you happily follow an established and successful business model? Or will you struggle to execute the vision of your franchisor, and want to divert from the path? If you make too many changes to your location, you’ll risk damaging the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Before you take the plunge, here are nine things to know before becoming a franchisee.
Choosing the right franchise for you in four steps
Once you’re certain that franchising is the right move for you, and you’ve got some ideas about what you’re looking for, the following four objective methods will show you how to evaluate a franchise for suitability and compatibility with your business goals...
1. Research, research, research!
Entering into the industry with as much information as possible will help you to make the right decision. To research effectively, you should make sure you:
- Ask franchisors for information packs
- Look into the industry you’re wanting to get involved in
- Talk to your bank and see if they have a franchising specialist who can offer advice
- Read up on franchising
- Go to networking events
- Visit franchise resource sites (like Point Franchise)
Once you’ve found a franchisor you think you like, find out:
- How long has the business been trading?
- How long has the business been a franchise?
- Is the franchise part of the BFA (British Franchise Association)?
- Are key players within the franchise experienced and competent?
- Which trading locations/territories are on offer?
- Who are your potential competitors?
- How many franchisees does the franchisor currently have?
- How many franchisees have failed to find success within the franchise?
Also, look into how much support you’ll receive when you do get started with the franchise. Find out if training is offered, how comprehensive it is and if that level of support will be kept up going forwards. It’s also smart to ask whether you’ll get financial help or general guidance setting up the business and opening doors.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
2. Assess your skills
Think about your skills and experiences, and figure out what would sort of franchise would be a good fit with these. Bring out your CV, look at all your previous job positions, and go over what you’ve been responsible for and what you’ve accomplished. From this reflection, write a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of your transferable skills which could be applied to the world of franchising.
Knowing what you’re good at will help you enter into your new role with confidence. Starting a franchise means you will be a boss that’s responsible for managing and mentoring people, so choosing a franchise that compliments your pre-existing skills gives you the best chance of success.
3. Think long-term
Running your own business may be your immediate goal, but what are you hoping to achieve over the next five years? What about the next ten? When you enter into a franchise agreement, you’ll be signing a legally binding document, lasting anywhere between 5-25 years.
Ultimately, ask yourself whether being a franchisee at the franchise of your choice will allow you to achieve your long-term goals for your personal, professional and financial life. Is the franchise your heart is drawn to the right move? Or would another business be a better fit?
4. Talk to current and former franchise owners
Make sure you pick up the phone and talk to both current and former franchisees of the franchises you’re interested in, as well as the franchisors you’ll potentially be working with. You should be looking to find out:
- The pros and cons of working with the franchise
- Any hidden costs
- Any information that wasn’t available through research e.g insider insights
- The length of time before the average franchisee sees a profit
- The level of support provided
In 2018, the franchising industry contributed £17.2 billion per annum, with 93% of franchisees claiming profitability [BFA Natwest Franchise Survey], so the odds are definitely in your favour if you decide to start a franchise.
>> Read more:
- 5 Advantages of Franchising for Young People
- 9 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- 5 Great Reasons to Become a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: Are You Ready to Become a Franchisee?
- Franchising 101: 6 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
Other franchise selection considerations
As you come to your decision, make sure you bear in mind these final considerations to ensure that you’re definitely choosing the right franchise for you:
- Costs of franchising - The various costs associated with franchising with a specific franchisor should be easy enough to find, as most franchises are very upfront about costs. You’ll need to know the initial investment amount, the ongoing franchise fees and the royalty fees. These figures are clearly displayed on the profile pages of all the franchises in Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory.
- Franchise agreement specifics - Franchisees are entitled to many different rights within franchise agreements, and you’ll need to ensure that any agreement you sign aligns with these rights. Ask a legal professional to examine the agreement before you sign, and carefully consider things like length, exclusive rights and conditions and restrictions.
- Any final questions - Before you come to any final decisions or agreements, make sure none of your questions are left unanswered, and confirm that franchisor and franchisee are on the same page. Don’t feel hurried or pressured to sign - becoming a franchisee is a big, potentially life-changing move and your chosen franchisor should respect this.
Begin your franchising journey with confidence
With all the information you need at your fingertips, you should be able to choose the right franchise for you with confidence. As you begin your franchising journey, check out our wide range of articles regularly to discover new franchisee advice and expertise.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©