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?
Before Buying a Franchise Identify Your TRUE Investment
Your approach as a potential franchise buyer is to identify the real investment dollars you’ll need to get the franchise to profitability. The initial source of this information is Item 7 in the FDD. Item 7 is a schedule that details the estimated investment in the franchise. This schedule includes the cost of various items, including: the initial franchise fee, training related expenses, rent, insurance, professional fees for legal and accounting services, supplies, equipment, licenses and permits and additional working capital. Depending upon the specific franchise, there may be added categories. When reviewing the Item 7 schedule it’s important to know that franchisors are not required to list every type of fee or expense that might be part of the investment in the franchise but rather the likely investment needed to start the franchise. As you work to establish your investment number keep in mind the words “estimated” and “typical.” Item 7 is a guide, and as such, you should use this information accordingly.
Getting Started - What is a Franchise
Most of you are probably already familiar with franchises. You may even patronize a variety of franchised businesses without realising that they are franchises. These businesses range from car servicing and financial services to yogurt and home repairs. According to the International Franchise Association(IFA) franchises employed nearly 9,000,000 Americans in 2015 and generated nearly $880 billion. Franchising is difficult to escape.
MinorityFran Changing the Game for Minorities in Franchising
As far as the incentives go, there are three main categories that franchisors tend to work with when they're looking to increase access to their systems for minorities. The most popular method used, by far, is to offer discounts on initial franchise fees. The second most popular incentive offered to minorities by franchisors is financing assistance and other discounts to help pay off the sizable franchising fees that new franchisees incur. Finally, in rare instances, franchisors offer minority franchisees administrative and development support above and beyond what they provide to the non-minority franchisees in the system. Here is a list of franchises that have gone the extra mile to reach out to minorities looking to get involved in franchising.