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.
The technical definition falls fairly in line with what we all typically think a franchise is - “an authorization granted by a company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities”. Basically they are businesses operated by an individual or a group (the franchisee(s)) that shares a common product and/or trade name to the parent company (the franchisor).
But, what you might not know is that there are actually two major types of franchises: product/ trade name franchises and business format franchises. In product and trade name franchises the franchisee (operator of the individual business) has use of a product or trade name, but no supporting relationship with the franchisor (larger company). This means that the franchisee basically operates the business independently, but does benefit from the marketing and advertising efforts of the franchise system. You’ll typically see these types of franchises for products that are older and established with a proven customer base. Some of the most common if these businesses are auto dealerships, gas stations, and soft drink bottling companies. On the other hand business format franchises is a setup that is characterized by an on- going business relationship between franchisor and franchisee. The franchisee is not only offered a trademark and a logo, but also a complete system of doing business. This is the more well known and much faster growing form of franchising, with world famous companies like McDonald’s, Holiday Inn, Century 21, and Baskin-Robbins using this format. This is also the form of franchises that we’ll primarily talk about on FranchiseHelp.
In the best of all worlds, the business format franchise is mutually beneficial for franchisor and franchisee alike. The franchisee typically pays an initial fee and ongoing royalties, giving the franchise system a continuous supply of working capital to develop and expand the organization. In turn, the franchisee gets a business package which would take years to develop and refine, a strengthened ability, to compete through the established brand identity and marketing power of the system, and the cost benefits and clout associated with the franchisor’s collective purchasing power.
5 Traps for the Unwary Prospective Franchisee
When evaluating a potential franchise opportunity, prospective franchisees need to take care to put the hype and their emotions in check, and carefully consider all factors relevant to their buying decision. After all, the franchise will be a 5- to 10-year relationship (at minimum, under most franchise agreements), so it is well worth the investment to put in some research and analysis before taking the leap.
5 Hot Franchises for 2014
Looking ahead to 2014, quick service food and cleaning services are perennially popular and lucrative franchise opportunities. Here are five white-hot franchises that may surprise you.
Common Mistakes Made By the Franchisor Buyer During the Due Diligence Investigation
Franchise merger and acquisition talks always start with the best of intentions. After all, a well-executed franchise system merger can lead to enhanced scale (for increased buying power and leverage over suppliers), reduction of overhead and operating costs (through elimination of duplicate staff, departments, and locations), and increased revenue (through cross-selling of products or services, optimization of distribution channels, and bolstered brand recognition and standing in the eyes of prospective franchisees).