Finding the right franchise: Five key questions to ask

There continues to be plenty of research showing that many Brits want to run their own business.

Finding the right franchise

According to SME Loans, who quizzed 2000 people to get insight and statistics about entrepreneurial ambition in the UK, up to 64% of the British workforce wants to start a business. And according to Enterprise Nation, 30% of UK adults are considering starting a business or side hustle in 2023 in a bid to increase their income.

As usual, I’m banging the drum for franchising – not enough people know about it, but with its training and support and proven format, this should be the first port of call. Before you start a business on your own, have a look at all the help and support you can get with a franchise.

There is wider research to do, looking at yourself first, skills, ambitions, funds available. Have you got family support, are you looking for a complete change or something similar to what you already know? In due course, you should do your due diligence into the franchisor financials, the territory and its potential, the legal contract and more.

A number of my previous articles go into this in more detail (link to others – )

But there are also some questions you can ask the franchisor to really start to assess how good your ‘fit’ is going to be. Yes, the franchisor will be assessing you and making sure that you are right for their network, but that goes both ways, you should make sure you are confident that you will get the right support at the right time. 

Here are five key areas to raise:

  • Values – what does the network stand for, can the people representing the franchisor articulate the key values that underpin the success of the franchise? At Revive! ours are simple but have stood the test of time over the last 20 years. We focus on Integrity, Outstanding Customer Service, Technical Excellence and Unity. We know that if we focus our attention on those bedrock values, everything else will follow, so as a franchisor, we want to recruit franchisees who will also commit to those values.
  • How does the initial training work, what is involved and who delivers it? What sort of areas does it cover, what happens if I don’t pass? These are key questions which can help you to assess the effectiveness of your initial training and understand how it will be delivered. This could be a mix of classroom and practical training, depending on the type of franchise you are buying.
  • What will I be doing day to day in the business? With some franchises that may be quite clear, e.g. owner operators, but with management franchises it can be a little less clear-cut. It is likely to be a real mix, covering sales, marketing, customer services, managing cash flow and potentially recruiting and supervising staff if you are running a larger franchise.
  • After the initial training and launch, what does the ongoing support look like, is there extra training, what about franchisee peer to peer groups and workshops? Talk to your franchisor about what you can expect from the support team as you start to grow your new venture. The initial training should just be the start, as the whole network should have access to ongoing support, whatever stage of growth they are at.
  • What help will I get with customer acquisition e.g. marketing and sales coaching, social media activity? Many sectors now use digital marketing to reach customers and that needs expertise that the whole network could benefit from, what are the plans to help you grow after your initial launch?

Running your own business doesn’t have to be a distant dream, franchising could help you to not just make it a reality but also to help you thrive, building a substantial operation if that’s your aim. 

Your research should be thorough and wide-ranging and hopefully these questions will help you to fully understand what lies ahead of you and what support you should receive. 

And finally, does the thought of this new venture excite you, you may well be apprehensive but deep down, can you really see yourself making a success of this opportunity? Will you enjoy this new venture? You will get support as a franchisee but there will still be lots of hard work so make sure you choose the franchise that’s right for you, one that you will love building.

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes