So you're Interested in the franchising system, particularly estate agency franchising. You've already done some searches and found a few franchisers that have caught your eye… the business concept looks promising. But how do you get started with this kind of project? Here are five pieces of advice designed to ensure you consider all possible aspects before launching yourself into franchising.
Choose something you are genuinely enthusiastic about
First and foremost, make sure you are involving yourself in something you are genuinely passionate about. Setting up a franchise is a full-time job that will occupy your time for a number of years. Avoid making a choice based solely, for example, on the success of other franchises. You are the cornerstone of your future business. It is therefore absolutely essential that you are capable of putting in all the effort required to make your project a success. The franchising system is available in many different sectors, so make sure you take your own particular interests into account when making your decision.
Study the market
Though passionate interest and enthusiasm must be central to your choice of sector, this does not mean that you should neglect to take economic considerations into account. It is essential to study the market beforehand. Something you can do in particular is focus on your service's potential customers/clients and where your franchise will be located. Consider, for example, your geographical location: Is it a good place in which to do business in your chosen sector? One way of finding a good location for your enterprise is to seek advice from your franchiser.
Research the franchiser
Another important choice is that of the franchiser; and here again it is better to take the time to evaluate all the possibilities. The fact they will be your future partner means they will have a considerable influence on how your franchising experience turns out. So take the time to find out about the franchiser, the concept they are offering and their contract. As well as researching the company itself directly, it is also always advisable to get in contact with other members of the franchising network. This will make it easier for you to assess the franchiser's requirements, restrictions and demands, and also what they provide you with, e.g. training, support and other kinds of services.
Think over the long term
Franchising involves a commitment of several years. It is therefore imperative that you try to imagine and picture your business over the long term. Ask yourself, for example, whether you would be able to manage and operate it for several years. Think about what such a commitment implies, not just in business terms but also in terms of your private life. Do you have the moral support of those around you, for example? No matter what the case, think about the fact that once you get started in this enterprise, you will need to put your energy, enthusiasm and passion into managing and maintaining it for at least five to ten years.
Put together a financial plan
Estimating the costs involved, both actual and potential, can also help considerably with your franchise. First of all, you will need to calculate the cost of launching your project. A certain amount of investment is basically required to get the business up and running in a way that meets the franchiser's requirements. But in addition to this, you will also need to ensure you have some form of funds available in the first few years, when the revenues from the business are still very limited. So sit down at the table with your accountant to draw up a financial plan designed to ensure you have access to the capital necessary for your project.
One last little piece of advice
Choose your franchising sector, e.g. the property business, based on passionate interest and enthusiasm; study the market beforehand; think over the long term, and put together a financial plan to ensure you have the funds in place to cover your investment – these are five tips designed to help you get started in franchising. If you require more information, the Fédération Belge de la Franchise (Belgian Franchise Federation), for example, has numerous useful resources available on its website. There is one other piece of advice to add to all these tips: Take the plunge into the world of franchising!