18 Questions for Potential Franchisees to Ask Themselves: Part 2
In the first part of this series you considered nine questions any potential franchisee should ask themselves about how to get started in a franchise business. Here are the remaining nine questions you should ask yourself as you start to explore different franchise opportunities.
10. Do I want a new or established system? While an established system may have more support and you may feel more secure about your financial success, a new system may allow more creativity and independence.
11. Do I want a large or small franchise system? About 60% of all franchise companies have fewer than 50 locations, so you'll have a bigger choice if you opt for the newer, smaller systems.
12. Do I want a system with slow and steady growth or one experiencing rapid growth? This changes franchise to franchise, and will often depend on how many hours you would like to put in over the first couple of years.
13. What kind of attitude do I want from the franchisor? Paternalistic? Dictatorial? Collegial? Laid back?
14. How important is name recognition? On a regional or national basis? Maybe in your specific location, you feel a well-known brand name would be a huge draw, or the complete opposite.
15. Will I be happy with one or two franchised units or do I want to own multiple units or develop an entire area?
16. How much can I realistically invest in a franchise (money that does not have to be borrowed or raised elsewhere)?
17. How much should the total investment be? Is it worth it to put more up front and get more in return, or to start small and gradually work your way up?
18. Do I need to find a franchisor that offers a low-interest financing program or has an established third party financing relationship?
Steps to Select and Protect a Valuable Trademark
The first thing to keep in mind when selecting a trademark is that not all words and names are capable of being protected as trademarks. No one business owner can claim exclusive rights in generic terms and logos, because all business owners need to be able to use these in order to identify their goods or services. Thus, a residential painting franchise likely could not claim exclusive rights in the name “Painting Pros”, because this is simply a generic description of the services that the business offers.
Franchisors Exposed to Liability Based on the Conduct of their Franchisees
Facts that have been considered relevant to whether a franchisor might be exposed to vicarious liability regarding the conduct of its franchisees include:
Trademark Infringement Headlines Offer Franchisors Important Lessons
The Griller franchise prevailed in its trademark infringement suit against The Original Griller. This was due, in part, to the fact that The Original Griller’s logo featured the word “Griller” more prominently than the other included words.