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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.

Top 5 References to Applebee's in Friday Night Lights

Fans of the recently finished series Friday Night Lights remember the show for its heartwarming depiction of a small Texas town, Dillon, in love with its high school football program. (For you non sports lovers, the series' name refers to the day and time football games are typically contested at the high school level).

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.