4 Things You Need to Open a Franchise
One of the most popular questions we get asked is, “What does it take to open a franchise?”
It’s a very important question, but for each individual person the answer is going to be slightly different. As you explore opening a specific franchise, they are going to be very clear with you about what it takes to open THEIR business.
However, at the highest level, there are four different things you’re going to need if you want to successfully open your own franchise.
Here they are:
1.Money – Every single franchise out there is going to require you to have a certain amount of capital in order to open a location. For some franchises, you need thousands of dollars and for others, you need millions. Not only are you going to be required to pay a franchise fee when you agree to become a franchisee, but you’re going to need money for real estate, supplies, payroll, etc. Often times franchises will publish a number of different financial metrics to help you understand its requirements e.g. franchise fee, liquid capital required, net worth required, initial investment, etc.
2. Time – Whether you plan on actively managing the franchise or hiring a management team to operate the franchise in your stead, owning a franchise takes time. For some people, becoming an entrepreneur means that they spend every waking hour working on the business. For others, it’s more like hiring a manager and checking in on them and the health of the business on a semi-regular basis. Either way, owning a franchise is going to take time. Make sure you’re not already burning the candle at both ends before opening a franchise.
3. Energy – This one is a little subtler and related to time, but you’re going to need quite a bit of energy. This also comes in two separate forms. The first is the energy that you need to actually operate the franchise. For certain franchises, this means moving from behind a desk and computer screen to being on your feet all day. For others, it may mean spending long hours making marketing phone calls. And for a third group, it could mean hiring lots of people. In addition, your staff is going to look to you to lead the company. So your energy level is going to be contagious. A complacent, low-energy CEO can spell disaster for any company, so make sure you’re ready to give it all you got.
4.Entrepreneurial Spirit – The last thing you’ll need is also the least tangible. Ultimately, opening a franchise is a risk. Sometimes franchises turn into multi-million dollar enterprises and other times they go bankrupt. You’ve got to be willing and ready to understand the risks and meet the challenges head on. The U.S.A. was built by people who weren’t willing to be complacent with yesterday’s answers. And you need to be in that vein. If you’re a super risk-averse person, then owning your own business may drive you crazy. But if you’re that person who’s ready to make things happen, franchising may be for you!
That’s it! Four things! Simple, isn’t it?
That’s what we always say. Opening a franchise is easier than you think. Because the franchisor handles a lot of details associated with how you run the business, the qualifications for ownership are fairly easy to understand.
So, are you ready to see which franchises are right for you?
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There are a number of reasons why a franchise can fail. Some of the reasons are based upon a lack of capital and/or particular skills necessary for a particular franchise to be successful. On the other hand, there may be factors that are out of the franchisee's control: a franchise program that has a lack of customer demand or a poor product, for example, can lead to failure despite the franchisee’s best efforts (another example of why the franchisee should have done their research before investing).
The first point I made ties into this, but you need to make sure you’ve done your research before you go ahead and sign a franchising agreement. And that doesn’t just mean from a financial perspective. There are so many other aspects in running a franchise that you need to understand before you get started. Most of this information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Documents. Some of the most important things you should take a look at would be any legal issues the franchisor might have and the churn rate of franchises. Both of those could potentially be pretty significant red flags that might make you want to reconsider whether or not you want to open that franchise.