The franchising system, and a franchise in the property industry in particular, has piqued your interest – but you may still feel that you lack information. Which franchisor should you choose? Which contract? Here are a few things that you should consider, covering four key areas, before investing in a franchise.
The first question to ask is, of course, as follows: are you cut out to be a franchisee? However, to assess yourself properly, here are some more specific questions: are you persistent enough? Disciplined? A good leader? What’s your general health like? Do you have the moral support of your friends and family? What are your goals over the next three years?
Naturally, the second phase of the decision making process involves paying particularly close attention to your franchisor. Apart from knowing who that is, together with the franchisor’s history and experience, why has the franchisor chosen to franchise its business model rather than opening its own branches? Have any of the franchisor’s outlets gone bankrupt? How are franchisees chosen? What do the annual accounts over the last three years reveal? Who are the key people for your project? Which factors will drive its profitability?
What makes the franchising model so unique is the package that the franchiser provides to its franchisees. In this package, has the franchisor made a provision for training new franchisees? What plans are in place to assist new franchisees, such as providing equipment and special offers to support the launch of the business? Who pays for these services? What ongoing support and assistance is offered? What kinds of help is available in relation to advertising?
An analysis of the contract is as important as it is different for each franchisor. Has the planned duration of the contract been taken into account when making financial commitments? What rights do you have? As a franchisee, are you allowed to engage in any other business activities during the term of the contract? Is arbitration provided for to resolve any disputes?
Starting out as a franchisee
Here are a few areas to consider when researching a franchise. But don’t simply stop after asking these questions: the important thing is to take the next step and embark on this wonderful adventure!