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Are there grants or alternative options to help me fund my franchise investment?
Louise Harris writes:
If you don’t have the cash to fund the purchase and set up of a franchise, there are options for borrowing – and these change so it is important for you and your franchisor to review the market, researching carefully. A good franchisor will have relationships in place with lenders who have reviewed the franchise opportunity – based on figures provided by the franchisor – and should make an introduction to the franchise managers of key lenders. Grants are available for some sectors: research these too but again, your franchisor should be able to guide you.
You will need to have prepared a business plan. This will have input from your franchisor but should be based on your own research. In some cases, the franchisor will guide you to a business which can help you write your plan and, looking at your personal circumstances – cash in the bank, assets and risk profile – and also introduce you to lenders who will consider your application.
Using your own money is important. It is rare for a purchase to take place without some ‘skin in the game’ from a franchisee. You can expect this investment to be around 30 to 50 per cent of the overall requirement, depending on the business. An older, more established franchise with a track record of success should be able to secure better funding rates than a start-up franchise.
Make sure you’ve factored in repayments – not just affordability but cash flow implications.
Louise Harris has been in franchising since 2006 and has been both franchisee and franchisor. She runs Franchise Projects, completing critical tasks for franchised businesses.
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