Award-winning franchisees Elaine and John Warburton of Barking Mad offer these tips for success
1. Pick something you’re really passionate about and not just something you think will make a fast buck.
2. When you consider a franchise, work out exactly what you expect from it - money, independence, flexibility, work/lifestyle balance, etc. Do you want something that will be seasonal, part time or a big earner?
3. Be cautious. Do your homework on a prospective franchisor. Check its financial history, talk to existing franchisees and get qualified advice on the franchise agreement. Does it belong to industry associations such as the British Franchise Association?
4. Carefully research possible sectors on the internet and with appropriate trade associations. Would you be entering a booming, stagnating or shrinking market?
5. Assess your financial situation. What can you afford? How much are you prepared to borrow? Work out the possible income your franchise will generate.
An award-winning journalist and author, Tony James specialises in business and sport
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