If you are considering franchising, the bfa’s key points will help you make a choice – from deciding on an industry to finding the right business for you
What are you passionate about?
Do something you enjoy! Franchising presents a wealth of investment opportunities across many sectors. With support and training to help you build your business, there is no reason why you cannot turn a passion into your career.
Leverage your strengths
Having a passion for the industry is a significant advantage but this may not always align with the role. An interest in technology may not fit with an experience in cold calling. So, consider your strengths alongside your passion. Do you like working directly with customers? Or would you prefer to manage a team?
Getting the work-life balance right
There are franchises of all types. Some require you to be on the road most days servicing clients, others will need you to be office-based and build a team to deliver the services. Some offer part-time working solutions and others require full-time portfolio building that could see you running multiple businesses longer term. Whatever you are looking for, weigh up what you are prepared to commit to and whether the return on investment is viable for you.
Research the industry
With so many business opportunities to choose from, it is important to get a good understanding of an industry before committing. Make sure you consider financial cycles, which depend on a variety of factors, and that you are clear on the extent to which your industry of choice may be vulnerable to external influences. Educate yourself on the latest legislation and seek advice if you are unsure how it may impact an industry. Read the latest trading figures and research how various economic climates have affected them.
Be clear on investment
Franchise costs vary. For example, a retail franchise may cost more than a B2B or remote franchise. Make sure you establish your budget and compare several options with a full financial breakdown. Understand the investment requirements so you can ensure you have appropriate funding, not just for your initial investment but the capital required to sustain your lifestyle and business in the opening months.
Narrow down and assess the opportunity
Look at the business model and whether it is suited to the geographical area you want to trade in. Research the success of similar businesses in your territory and any potential competitors. Speak to the franchisor. Do you feel you can do business with them - it is a partnership after all? Speak to other franchisees in the network and find out if they’re happy now, having already made the commitment that you’re looking to make.
Understand your key obligations
You will be signing a franchise agreement, setting out the rights you have and the roles and responsibilities of both parties, making a long-term commitment. Make sure you get your contract reviewed by a franchise lawyer and that you also understand everything expected of you as a franchisee.
Ethics are everything
Irrespective of how long a franchise has been operating, you must be confident in its model and ethical standards. Is the business a member of the bfa? Brands applying for membership are making a commitment to franchise ethically and undergo an accreditation process which involves the bfa stress-testing the franchise model to ensure it’s proven and viable. Moreover, as a franchisee you would have access to full support should anything go wrong.
Don’t forget to ask the franchisor questions too!
Make sure you get a 360-degree view. Ask them about them and their business, about all the costs involved. Find out about their methods along with training and development of franchisees. Ask about your involvement in the overall network and about communication and operations. All of this will help you ensure that the franchisor, the business and you are the right fit for each other.
Franchising has historically provided great opportunities for people from all walks of life and with the industry being so diverse, there’s absolutely no reason not to find something you love. The bfa is here to help you start your franchising journey and at every step along the way.
Visit www.thebfa.org for more support and information.