The New Year is upon us and fears of Brexit and what the financial future holds may leave many wishing to have greater control of their own destiny by running their own ready-made business in the form of a franchise. The fact that this is the chosen route for those wanting to be their own operator already suggests that they are understanding of the challenges that face new business owners. Most new businesses fail, so the concept of adopting a successful business model makes complete sense. However, choosing a franchise can be a minefield, so it is suggested that you carry out some important research before deciding on the right franchise:
- Evaluate its commercial viability for the future i.e. does it operate in a market place that is immune to some of the dramatic political and economic changes facing the UK.
- Research the size of the market sector it operates within and how much competition exists. It is no surprise that many franchises are in the cleaning sector, as the sector has an ongoing demand and has room for many operators, whilst requiring a minimal amount of ongoing costs.
- Establish the franchisors future plans for the entire network, is their business model focused on generating income from selling one off franchise packages or are they committed to growing the entire network.
- Speak to current franchisees (ones chosen by you) to establish just how much support you are given and establish some of the challenges they faced when starting out.
- Research the background of the franchisor and what makes them tick. Try to establish their work ethic and desire to succeed, this often reflects their commitment to the franchise group.
- Evaluate the support given, establish the cost this equates to and align this alongside material and tangible costs, this will enable you to determine if the franchise you are about to purchase is value for money. Many franchise models place too high a cost on the initial franchise and are seen to promote a new, untested idea, through the franchise model. This is akin to starting a new business and as already mentioned, comes with a high failure rate.
- Be prepared to be assessed by the franchisor. A good franchisor will be frank and honest in their views and reject you if they feel you are setting yourself up for failure or do not meet their long-term objectives for the group.
- Be honest with yourself, it is always an exciting prospect starting up your own business, but do you have the drive and commitment it takes to make it a success. Even the most successful and established franchise models require commitment from those taking them on.
- Establish if there is a potential to resell the franchise, just in case your personal circumstance change.
Written by Roy Young of the Clear Brew, Beer line cleaning group.