Franchising is a cost-effective, low-risk way of going into business for yourself. In addition to offering you instant name recognition, franchises such as A Buyer’s Choice have already established most aspects of their business plan (marketing, manufacturing, branding and processes). Fortunately for you, everything they’ve done ahead of time is one less thing you’ll have to.
These days, franchisors employ more than one-tenth of eligible workers in the United States. Franchising is proven to be one of the most reliable business models, and allows people to start their own home-based business ventures without experiencing the headaches typically tied to launching a startup.
But knowing that you want to buy a franchise and actually finding one that fits your personal needs are two different things. Listed below are five steps anyone interesting in franchising should take before investing:
1) Do the Necessary Research
A lot of rookies make the mistake of purchasing a franchise solely because they like the idea behind it. Just because you like cold desserts, doesn’t mean you should open an ice cream franchise in Alaska.
While it’s always important to do something you feel passionate about, you shouldn’t limit yourself to one or two business ventures. Instead, explore what’s popular in your area, gauge how much different franchises cost, take stock of your own finances and only then start narrowing down your possibilities.
2) Talk to Franchise Representatives
No matter how much research you do, the best way to learn more about a prospering franchise like A Buyer’s Choice is to contact the company directly. Ask if there are franchises in your area and, if so, have the company send you as many informational resources as it can. Knowledge is power.
When you speak to the franchise’s representative, make a few mental notes. How knowledgeable were they? How friendly? Did he or she answer all of your questions, or just gloss over them?
3) Talk to Franchise Owners
One of the best ways to gauge whether a franchise is right for you is by talking to someone who actually manages one. More often than not, franchisees will be happy to provide you with a candid account of how their business is doing, how restrictive the guidelines are and how satisfied they are. Existing franchisees from franchises like A Buyer’s Choice are perhaps your best, most reliable source of information.
4) Narrow Down Your Choices
Narrowing down your choices can be difficult. Take all the information you have gathered, sit down, turn off the TV and start writing notes. Of the franchises you are interested in, write down each one’s strengths and weaknesses, scan the information one last time, and reevaluate what existing franchisees said.
Once you’ve eliminated franchises that don’t meet your needs, see what you’re left with. Ideally, you’ve found at least one or two that might work for you.
5) Meet With Franchises
It’s finally time to go down to the franchisor’s headquarters. You should be given the opportunity to speak with top ranking officials from the home office and ask any lingering questions you might have. You may even be given a tour of an existing franchise.
When all is said and done, you’ll have gained enough knowledge to make an informed decision. Good luck.