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Debunking Franchise Myths

We all know the upside to franchising: proven franchise system, training and support, purchasing power, brand recognition, and lower risk of failure top the list. But before you utter those three little words, "it's all good," take a reality check. Consider this list of common myths surrounding franchising and get the true facts.

Myth

Success is guaranteed. 

Fact

Franchising does increase your chances for success over going it alone, but it's not a magic solution. Any venture involves risks; a proven system merely lowers those risks.

Myth

You can be your own boss. 

Fact

Yes, you will enjoy some perks as a business owner, but you still have to follow someone else's rules-the franchisor's. You may not have the power to make even the most basic decisions about hours of operation, pricing, suppliers, and marketing.

Myth

It's cheaper than starting from scratch.

Fact

The cost of starting a franchise is about the same as starting your own business when you consider the real estate, build-out, equipment, supplies, and advertising. You might get some price breaks from group purchasing, but royalty fees will offset any savings.

Myth

It's easy. 

Fact

Don't assume that once you make your investment it's not going to be as hard as a regular non-franchise business. With a franchise it's going to be an easier transition and a lower chance of failure, but there's no way around it-running a business is hard work.

Myth

Bigger is better. 

Fact

Bigger companies do offer some advantages like large-scale advertising, sophisticated systems, and more capital to support the brand. But smaller franchisers are often more flexible and responsive to franchisees.

Myth

A high-priced franchise will yield a bigger ROI. 

Fact

Often the opposite is true. The price of the franchise has little to do with profit potential. You need to take into account numerous factors such as market conditions, system efficiency, location, and your own knowledge of the industry.

Financing the Acquisition

Financing the acquisition of a franchise is not a slight affair, as with the legal fees, the initial fee, allocation for resource acquisition and various other expenses the cost raises significantly. Therefore financing often becomes mandatory in that situation. Mostly people concentrate on third party financing where they seek out investors and other debt or equity lenders for their financial needs. However, two of the most overlooked options are:

Why Franchisors Don’t Like Negotiating

The first impression that the franchisee gets from reading the franchise agreement is total incomprehension, unless they are well versed in legal terminologies and phrasing. The FDD is required to be in plain English but the franchise agreement has no such requirement. Typically, the franchisor’s legal department works extremely hard to secure the franchisor’s position through the Agreement and makes it impenetrable for someone who is not a lawyer to understand. The uniform nature of the agreement for all franchisees makes it assumed that the franchisee must sign the agreement so that all the franchisees follow the same terms. Even though that is partially true, the franchisee can plead their case and negotiate terms where they believe that they are offering something unique to the franchisor.

Steps to improve the franchisee's profitability

Topics to be covered in this strategic audit should include at a minimum these ten (10) items: