If you’re considering buying a franchise, follow these seven steps to choosing the right one for you
At the time of writing, the UK is still under lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Many people have been using this time to think about their future, as the thought of starting a business and taking control of their own career is an attractive one.
However, taking that step into self-employment can be daunting. Reducing the risk by investing in a franchise will be a better option for many, as it provides an established business model, training and ongoing support. Take the following steps to find the right one for you:
1. Find out what franchises are available
Use the wide number of online resources available. Many will let you choose different investment levels and industry sectors, so you can focus on the areas you’re most interested in. In addition, take a look at the British Franchise Association website and take its free online course for prospective franchisees.
2. Do plenty of self analysis
What do you want to do? What are your skills and interests? Look closely at your finances to establish how much you can invest and how much you will need to take out of a new business.
3. Decide on your timescale
Do you want to buy a franchise as soon as the lockdown is over or are you planning on making the move in the mid to long term? This will determine whether you can move ahead now or if you should explore franchising in general at this stage.
4. Choose your sector
Decide on your preferred industry sector and review the franchises available within it. Choose a few to compare in more detail, so you can find out whether the franchise is one you can see yourself becoming part of.
5. Meet with franchisors
Doing this will allow you to understand more about individual franchises and see whether you connect with the management and head office support teams. Can you see yourself prospering in a long-term business relationship with them? Remember, during these meetings a franchisor will also be vetting you, as it needs to ensure you will be a good fit for its network.
6. Undertake more detailed research
Once you’ve decided on the franchise you want to join, find out about the history of the franchisor, its financial stability, the costs involved in launching the franchise and the market for the products or services in your area. Also, speak to existing franchisees in the network about their experiences.
7. Complete a comprehensive business plan
Your business plan is key, not only for obtaining finance, but also for ensuring you have a clear framework to follow as you launch and grow. Make sure you understand the cash flow needs of your new venture, as well as the impact of lower or higher sales on your forecasts.
These steps should help you work through the process of choosing the right franchise. Being in business for yourself is not easy, but becoming a franchisee gives you an excellent chance of success.
Cathryn Hayes is franchise director at Revive!.
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