Starting your own business is one of the most exciting adventures anyone can embark on. However, it’s not without its challenges, so if you have the drive and ambition to be an entrepreneur, franchising can provide the reward without the risk of business ownership. Today, the franchise landscape is wide and varied with plenty of opportunities for all interests and levels of experience, whether you’ve been a franchisee numerous times and looking for your next project or you’re brand new to the world of franchising. In this article, we will explore how to navigate the franchise landscape, including what to consider when deciding on which franchise business is right for you.
Decoding the Franchise Industry
As its core, franchising is an opportunity to utilise the established brand, legacy and practices of an established organisation to run your own business. This means you’ll find franchising opportunities across sectors, from retail to the service industry. To find out where to start in decoding the industry and what business would suit you best, follow these steps:
Being a business owner can be a lonely experience, especially while you’re still growing and building your pool of employees and colleagues so it’s important to accurately evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your previous experience and skills as well as the goals you want to set in your new franchise business. This will help you narrow in on how much support you want from a franchisor and will give you an angle for your research. You can discover the potential growth and revenue a potential franchisee opportunity can bring and research whether other franchisees from the businesses you’re considering have been able to reach the similar expansion goals to the ones you’d like to aim for.
It’s also hugely important for you to think about what you’re most passionate about. One of the greatest joys of running your own business is having the freedom to pick what services and products matter to you and find a franchise business that aligns with your interests, ethics and aspirations.
Research franchise options
Once you’ve looked inward, it’s time to look outward and see what franchise options there are. For example, if you’ve decided that you’re passionate about supporting the next generation, you could focus your research on children’s services. Then, you can research the level of support and potential business growth offered to franchisees from your selection. You can find a range of franchise businesses by looking at online franchise directories, attending franchise expos and by seeking recommendations from industry experts.
Evaluate franchisor reputation
Once you’ve got a shortlist, look into the reputation and track record of the franchisors you’re interested in. Research their financial stability, growth rate, and history of supporting franchisees. You can read reviews and franchisee case studies and speak with current franchisees to gain valuable insights for your decision-making.
Understand franchise costs
If you haven’t already, this is the time to start considering the costs. Gain a clear understanding of the initial franchise fee, ongoing royalty fees, and other costs associated with the franchisors you’re interested in. Make sure you have a realistic budget and financial plan to cover these expenses and don’t hesitate to contact the franchisors themselves if you want some advice as to whether your budget works with their expectations of a franchisee.
Trust your instincts
Ultimately, one of the most important pieces of advice for anyone researching franchise opportunities is to trust your instincts. Starting a business is a big decision so if something doesn’t feel right or if you have doubts, it’s important to address them before making a commitment.
Making a success of franchising
Whilst navigating the franchise landscape can be a challenge, once you’ve found the franchise opportunity that suits you best, the rewards will soon follow. It’s important to remember all the many benefits to becoming a franchisee, including working within a proven business model, training and support from the franchisor, a sense of community with your fellow franchisees and a higher success rate.
However, what is truly important in searching of the right business opportunity depends on the individual. Franchising may not be for everyone but with the right research and introspection, you will have the knowledge you need to start reaching out to potential franchisors to see if this route could work for you. It can be dauting making a career decision like this so take your time to consider your options and you’ll be on the road to success.
This article comes courtesy of Stagecoach Performing Arts, a UK-based leading franchise in performing arts education for children and young people.