If you’re interested in opening a franchise unit, but can’t find the right franchisor, there are a few things you can do to broaden your search. Identifying the perfect franchise is incredibly challenging and can take a considerable amount of time. However, if you follow our top 10 tips, make sure you perform thorough research, keep an open mind, and network extensively, you’ll find that there’s plenty of opportunities out there.
How to open the perfect franchise
1. Market research
The starting point for every potential franchisee is thorough research. To find the perfect franchise, you need to know what is out there and available. Use every resource at your disposal and when you see something that interests you, dig a little deeper. Get in touch with the franchisor, request more information and begin weighing up the pros and cons of becoming a franchisee. It may turn out that it’s not the best franchise business opportunity for you, but you’ll never know unless you do your research.
2. Existing franchise contacts
If you're looking for the perfect franchise and already have connections that own or work within the franchise system, get in touch and start talking to them. If they’re franchisees, they may be able to give you the lowdown on their own franchisor. If they’re a franchisor, they may be able to point you in the right direction. Finding the right franchise is about exploring all your options, so make the most of any contacts you may have in the franchising sector.
3. The British Franchising Association
The British Franchising Association (bfa) is the national franchising body in the UK. Many of the best franchises to own are affiliated with the bfa and can be found listed on their website. It's a great place for prospective franchisees to start their search, as all franchises joining the bfa have to ensure they follow a code of practice and operate ethically and honestly. The bfa also works closely with major UK lenders, ensuring many of its members can arrange financing deals with these same banks.
4. Franchising fairs
Franchising fairs and expos take place up and down the country and are a great way to explore your options. Not only do you get a good feel for what's out there and available, but you also have the opportunity to talk to franchisors and begin networking. If there's a franchise fair near you, take the chance to head on down, even if it's just to pick up some promotional material from those franchises that interest you.
5. Identify trends and look for demand
When you’re searching for the ideal franchise, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest trends and think about what people in your area want. Remember, your franchise doesn’t have to be an entirely original idea. It just needs to meet local demand and offer a better service than your competitors. After all, there are a plethora of coffee shops on the high street, yet the Costa Coffee franchise thrives because it offers superior service and product to most of the alternatives.
6. What does your skillset suit?
The “perfect” franchise will be one that allows you to enjoy yourself and that you can make a success of. Consequently, it’s important to think about what kind of company your skillset is best suited to. Do you your natural communication abilities mean you’re an able salesperson? Does your understanding of digital technology mean you’re better suited to something IT related? Work out what you’re good at and then pursue opportunities that will allow you to shine.
7. Keep an open mind
Some of the best opportunities are those you would never have considered were it not for a fateful accident. If you enter your search with a closed mind, you’re likely to miss a whole host of opportunities that could have turned out well. It's impossible always to know where you'll end up or what you'll enjoy, so keep an open mind and explore all your options. Just because you've never considered it before, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.
8. Don’t limit yourself to more established franchises
While it’s tempting to only go for big name franchises that you know will bring in the customers, it's essential that you don't ignore the little, lesser-known franchises. While established franchises might make certain aspects of the setup process more manageable for a franchisee, they can be expensive, and it's easy for a franchisee to feel lost and ignored in the franchise's global network. Newer franchises may be more of a risk, but if you make the right decision, they’re infinitely more rewarding.
9. Use trade publications
Many popular trade publications cover the franchising sector. Most of them include interviews with major franchisors and experienced franchisees, as well as articles on franchising trends and the latest news stories. In most publications, there will also be a section in which franchisors can advertise themselves to prospective franchisees.
10. Use Point Franchise
Finally, if you want to know what's out there, take a look at our own Point Franchise website, where you'll find an incredible number of franchises – all of whom are on the search for new franchisees. If you're looking to become a franchisee, this is the place to start. Each page lists the franchise’s essential information, including its history, investment requirements, and details of the franchise package, and potential franchisees can get in touch with each franchisor quickly and easily.
If you’re hoping to become a franchisee but haven’t found the right franchise yet, you need to ensure that you’re using a wide variety of techniques and resources. Don’t limit yourself to the obvious channels, get out there and network. Make contacts and ask them their opinion, get hold of industry publications, and utilise the internet as a research tool. The only way you’re going to find the perfect franchise is if you keep your eyes, ears, and mind open.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©