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Franchise mistakes revealed

A quarter of people who buy a franchise become frustrated with the constraints and would be better off setting up a business based on their own idea. That’s the findings of a survey carried out by experienced UK franchisor, Freddie Rayner.

Rayner’s discovered that up to a quarter of people who buy a franchise later regret it and look to sell the business to start their own venture.

“While a franchise is the perfect way for many people as a way to start their own business, the reality is that some people are just not suited to it,” he says. “In many ways, buying a franchise is like buying a job. You invest in proven systems that are guaranteed to work and you just follow the guidelines.

“For some people that’s their idea of hell. They hate being constrained by the franchise guidelines, and want to do things their own way. Those are the kind of people who shouldn’t buy a franchise. They should set up in business using their own idea.”

Not being suited to franchising is the number one mistake made by new franchisees, according to Rayner. In all, he has identified seven common mistakes:

• Am I suited to franchising? This is the first question new franchisees must ask themselves. Am I able to run a business that essentially has to comply with the guidelines and structure of a larger organisation?

• Not talking to other franchisees. It helps to seek advice and assistance from successful franchisees to ensure that you take the right steps when choosing your franchise and making it a success.

• Not being an expert on the product. It is important that you know everything about what you are selling. How can you sell a product to someone, or earn the respect of your staff, if you don’t know more about it than they do?

• Underestimating the investment needed. Starting a franchise requires more than the initial costs - there are also operational costs to consider. And once you’ve made your financial investment, you still have to commit your time. Starting a franchise is hard work, but if you apply yourself in the right way you will be rewarded.

• Not assessing the competition. Don’t expect the franchisor to check out the local competition for you. It is down to you to carry out market research and evaluate the competition before drawing up your own strategy.

• Failing to understand the franchise agreement. We’ve all done it at some point - skimming over documents and missing vital information about what we are responsible and liable for, or entitled to. When investing in a franchise, this is a very costly mistake to make. You must know your agreement inside out to ensure that both you and the franchisor keep to your end of the deal.

• Failing to market your franchise. The franchisor will market on a national level, but it is down to you to make a name for yourself locally. Your franchise may already have brand recognition, but so will your competitors. It is vital that you promote and market your franchise if you are going to be a success.


Freddie Rayner has recently published his first book, called Franchise Success: How to Make It Happen. For a free copy visit www.freefranchisebook.co.uk.

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