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Due diligence lawyer-style: How to future-proof your franchise investment

Due diligence lawyer-style: How to future-proof your franchise investment

What are the questions you should ask yourself when you look at a franchise to discover if it is your perfect fit?

So, you’re thinking about starting a franchise? Congratulations! It has to be one of the most exciting steps you can take in your career. But with more competition out there than ever before, which one do you choose? And most importantly, who can you trust? In a world where everyone can now create glossy adverts and images to promote themselves, how do you know your money and your future career will be in good hands?

This piece is entitled how to do your due diligence lawyer-style, and you might be thinking, what does that have to do with buying a franchise? Don’t be worried, I’m not talking litigation here, I’m talking about doing due diligence – being your own lawyer or detective if you like, the Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, investigating your options thoroughly and finding out if a certain franchise is for you!

What do I mean by due diligence? It means doing your research and taking reasonable steps to find out everything you can about your prospective investment before you part with the cash.

(DISCLAIMER: Of course, we would still always encourage you to get a lawyer to look over franchise paperwork before you sign it. We would always encourage you to take proper precautions because we are responsible and want you to be too.)

Below are just a few questions I want you to ask yourself when you look at any franchise, which I hope will help you discover the perfect fit for you!

What do you love?

That budget franchise might seem like it’s the biggest bargain in history but if you don’t like the franchise you’re buying into then what’s the point? For example, if you hate coffee, why would you buy a franchise in it, just because it has a big discount on it? You won’t feel passionate about it, which means you won’t be motivated to make a go of it and are likely to want to bail out when it invariably goes wrong. This could mean you lose an investment, your time and energy. If you’re going to take the leap to be your own boss, do what you love – life is too short!

Also, think about who you are as a person – are you someone who is an introvert or are you the centre of the party? Now don’t get me wrong, neither of these is better or worse than the other when it comes to business. You can be a successful entrepreneur no matter what your personal style is, but you just need to think of how you will fit your personality and needs into the franchise. So, if you love people, do a person facing role and then if you love maths, take a more background role. However, just because you’re shy doesn’t mean you can’t be an entrepreneur – you just need the right tools and mindset to help you! I’m saying this as an introvert myself, so if I can do it, so can you, which leads me to my next point.

What support do you get?

You need to look seriously at what you get when you buy into a franchise, do you get help and support? Or do you pay your fee and off you go? Again, it’s down to different strokes for different folks, but if you feel you would benefit from support, training and mentoring, make sure your franchise has all of those things! At Not Just Travel, we invest in our franchisees. We believe we provide world-class support through our head office team, training and entrepreneurial retreats through our Millionaire’s Retreats and ongoing help and advice through our mentoring scheme. We don’t want you to just get a franchise, we want to build the UK’s next generation of entrepreneurs!

What does success mean to you and what are you prepared to do to get there?

If you could imagine your perfect job, what would it look like? What hours would you work? You have to think about how much time you want to spend on your franchise. Starting a business isn’t easy – trust me, I know – and you will have to work hard, really hard. There are no shortcuts, but what I can promise you is that if you know where you want to be and move towards it every day in little steps, you will have created your dream job in no time.

Success looks different to different people, for some it’s earning a six-figure salary or having a Tesla, for others it’s being there to see their kids at the school gates while earning good money to support their family. Whatever it is, if you can drill down and really understand what motivates you, you can use this to discover the perfect franchise fit for you.

At Not Just Travel, we know that one of the biggest motivators for people wanting to work in travel is because they love to travel themselves. They love adventures, they love to go on holiday, and so we make it as easy as possible for our team to travel and experience new places. If you have been to Costa Rica, how much easier will it be to tell other people about it and make them enthusiastic?

Do you have trust in the franchise company?

Do they inspire you with confidence? Do they have a proven track record of success over the years? Do they have lots of recent, as well as historic success case studies? Can you talk to anyone at the company about joining? Can you get hold of them at all? Can you see yourself being with the franchise in five or 10 years time? Does the franchise have a contract of at least two to three years so you will be able to get your return on investment? Is it endorsed by anyone within the industry or trade? Do you believe in their values and ethos? Does it look like a fun place to be, something you’d enjoy being part of? Or does it just seem like a bargain?
Never be afraid to talk to a franchise company about this – they will be more than happy to answer your questions, and if they aren’t then I’d suggest you have your answer!

What would Miss Marple do?

In conclusion, this probably seems like a lot of questions and very few answers, but that’s the thing – no-one can convince you to be your own boss, and they shouldn’t try to. We’d encourage you to be like those famous detectives and do your investigations, drill down into your motivations and needs and get proper advice and help before you decide what franchise option, you’re happy with.

The author

Steve Witt is co-founder of the multi-award-winning travel franchise business, The Travel Franchise and its sister travel arm Not Just Travel.

 

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