By Steve Slowey
Last week I was in Denver Colorado for a trade show; everything concept you could think of was represented there, from oil changing to cupcakes. As a potential franchisee, seeing all these concepts, where do you even begin? Yes, some folks know what they want but there may have been several branded concepts representing the same niche, so again, where do you begin?
I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of people and as the show went on, I found myself asking people how much they knew about Franchising. Honestly, I found that they didn’t know exactly how it works or even what a franchise agreement was.
So how do you make a decision, or pick between so many concepts, when you’re making such an important choice? You don’t, you do your research, remove all emotion, and realize this could be the best, or the worst decision, depending on how you approach it.
Franchises should represent a concept that has been tested and proven to increase the opportunity for a potential Franchisee to make money. This idea only holds true if the Franchisee follows the advice and direction of the Franchisor. Considering the length of time a franchise agreement represents (usually 10 years), a concept should not even consider Franchising until they are solid in every facet of their operation. While I don’t believe a concept needs to be operational for a certain amount of time before franchising, they better be able to prove they know what they are doing. Just because someone has an idea that seems unique today doesn’t mean it will be successful as a franchise.
Newer concepts rely heavily on the Franchisee to give them credibility and help them build relevance in the market. Every Franchise we see began somewhere, but believe me, they all went through some growing pains typically at the expense of some Franchisee.
Personally, I have been successful in some franchises and I have been financially hurt by others. With the ones I was hurt by, the Franchisor allowed me to open even when things weren’t exactly right. What risk did the Franchisor have, more than that, what did the Franchisor do to help me through the struggle and to ensure that I was successful?
If you buy a Franchise, you will be paying for the use of their branded name and what they consider proprietary information, that should help you to be successful. Remember, this is a big decision and you need to ask the right questions and get sound advice before you commit. Let us help you. We are not here to convince you to buy a Franchise, we are here to simply help you do it the right way.