Franchising: A formula for success

Franchising can be an exciting pathway to business ownership, offering a mix of independence and support that attracts aspiring entrepreneurs. However, success in franchising is not guaranteed and depends on several critical factors

Franchising: A formula for success

Choosing the right franchise

The foundation of any franchisee’s success lies in selecting the right opportunity.  Every prospective franchisee should conduct thorough research, considering factors such as market demand, brand reputation, franchisee support, and financial viability. Look for franchise concepts that align with your interests, values, and long-term goals to ensure a fulfilling and profitable venture.

Imagine being passionate about fitness and choosing a fast-food franchise—likely not the best fit! Instead, a gym or wellness franchise might be more up your alley. The key is to find a business that resonates with your passions and lifestyle. Remember, running a business is hard work and your success will be dependent on the effort you put in too!

Understanding the franchise model

Before committing to a franchise, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies of the franchise model. Familiarise yourself with the franchise agreement, royalty fees, initial investment requirements, and ongoing operational obligations. Gain clarity on the rights and responsibilities of both the franchisor and franchisee to establish realistic expectations and mitigate potential conflicts.

The franchise agreement is your roadmap. It outlines everything from how much you pay in royalties to how you should market the business. Don’t just skim through it—study it, ask questions, and ensure you’re comfortable with all aspects before signing on the dotted line. If in doubt, always seek professional advice.

Leveraging franchisor support

One of the primary advantages of franchising is access to comprehensive support from the franchisor. Take full advantage of training programs, operational manuals, marketing assistance, and ongoing guidance provided by the franchisor. Building a strong relationship with the franchisor and fellow franchisees can provide invaluable insights and resources to navigate challenges and maximize success.

Proper training

As a franchisor, your initial training courses are probably scheduled in advance and may be fixed—for good reasons. But what do you do if a prospect appears last minute and you want to “squeeze” them onto the next course but there isn’t enough time for them to review and sign the franchise agreement? Or maybe you have a prospect that you have been nurturing over months and they are set to attend the training course but the franchise agreement has not yet been signed. What then?

The purpose of your initial training is to teach someone who has no idea how to run your business. This training includes your know-how and trade secrets. Until the franchise agreement is signed, neither party is committed and can walk away. Protect your business and don’t give your trade secrets away prematurely!

Cultivating a strong brand identity

A brand is so much more than just a name – it represents the values and reputation of the business and as the brand develops so does its value. A business that looks after its brand, can benefit from the value of its brand whether that is by raising finance to further develop and grow, through licensing the brand to third parties or by cashing in on the value when eventually selling your business. Leverage the franchisor’s branding assets while infusing your unique personality and local flair into marketing efforts. Engage with the community, participate in events, and leverage digital platforms to enhance brand visibility and foster meaningful connections with your target audience.

Get the right advice

Whether you are a franchisee or a franchisor, starting to franchise is an important undertaking. As a franchisor, you will be investing significant amounts in establishing a framework and building your network. As a franchisee, you are making an investment, probably using your savings to fund that purchase. Getting the right legal advice from the outset is essential.

You wouldn’t buy a car without doing a history check or a house without doing searches, so why buy a franchise without getting legal advice? And just as you wouldn’t want a dentist performing a heart operation, or a math teacher giving you investment advice, the same way you should not get a franchise agreement off the internet or use a lawyer who is not experienced in franchising. If the franchise agreement doesn’t match what you have been told and the franchisor says “don’t worry, just sign it”—don’t! The franchise agreement is a legal document and will govern your relationship with the franchisor. If something is not in the agreement, you may not be able to rely on it or enforce it later.

Franchising can be a formula for success, offering a blend of independence and support that can lead to profitable and fulfilling ventures. However, success depends on choosing the right franchise for you, understanding the franchise model, leveraging franchisor support, cultivating a strong brand identity, and getting the right advice. When these elements align, franchising can be a dream come true. When they don’t, it can be a nightmare. Approach franchising with diligence, enthusiasm, and a clear strategy to turn the formula into your success story.

Natalia Shvarts
Natalia Shvarts