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How can I decide what kind of franchise to open?
Louise Harris writes:
It’s quite a lot like choosing a life partner. You need to be interested in the opportunity, excited by it and what it has to offer you. The opportunity needs to satisfy the criteria that you set – in this case it might be initial investment, financial goals, and long-term personal goals regarding working in the business.
You also need to establish if there is a match. You and your partner need complementary skills – you bring the energy, passion (and finance) whilst they deliver the brand, know-how and support.
An honest audit of your skills, abilities, likes and dislikes, plus a clear picture of how much you are prepared to invest, in time and money, will set a benchmark for the search. Understand the end game, too – do you want to build something to sell, a legacy for your family, or do you simply want to replace an income and walk away when you’re ready to retire?
There are plenty of places to search – exhibitions, online, and some companies who will help you to find the right option for you. Do lots of research to understand the legal implications of being a franchisee – it’s a binding contract and you should know your responsibilities.
If you’ve matched all your criteria and all your senses are telling you it’s the right opportunity for you – the chances are it is. Getting a second opinion is worthwhile – maybe your real-life partner can help! They know you better than most – and have your best interests at heart.
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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