For many first-time franchisees, business ownership is both exciting and a little overwhelming. The journey to becoming a franchisee is a tremendous learning experience, and many seasoned franchise owners often reflect on their experience and what they wish they had known prior to starting.
At My Eyelab, we want your experience as a franchisee to be positive, successful and easy. Check out these helpful tips for a first-time potential franchisee:
1. Invest in Your Passion and the Money Will Follow
Passion is key! One of the most important decisions is to pick a franchise business you’re passionate about. Think about the brand’s values, its mission, the services and/or products it offers. When you decide to become a franchisee, you should choose a franchise brand that you align with and are proud to represent in your local community – that connection can help fuel the success of your business.
2. Devote Yourself to Success
Before you choose which franchise is right for you, you need to have a plan in place. Determine how much you’re willing to pay for a franchise location, who you’ll be getting into business with and why, and above all, decide your end game. Are you planning on leaving your business to your children as a family legacy or are you planning on selling within a couple of years of ownership? Knowing the answer to these questions can help you find the franchise that fits your short-term and long-term goals.
3. Lean on Existing Franchisees as a Key Resource
As you narrow down your franchise brand options, part of the research you need to do is talk to the franchisees of each franchise brand. These business owners can give you a direct, honest look into franchise ownership for their brand and help you pick the franchise right for you. Be conscious of the fact that each owner will have a distinct experience and take each perspective as a piece of the larger whole.
4. Invest in a Franchise that Helps You Reach Your Goals
Understanding your initial investment is essential as you continue your path to franchise business ownership. The investment takes into account construction, leasing costs, equipment, and any other costs determined by the franchisor.
Your cost estimate will be disclosed within your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) – and should be taken into account as you look for the franchise that fits within your budget, lifestyle, and goals. Understanding these costs can also help you determine what type of funding you’ll need from potential investors – whether it’s through venture capital or a small business loan.
5. Thoroughly Review Your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
Your FDD is one of the most important documents in your entrepreneurial adventure – and should not be taken lightly. It may be tempting to skim over the documents and just absorb the information you deem most important, but it is essential that you take your time and read every word included.
The FDD can be pretty hefty reading – especially for those without a background in reading contracts. Luckily, it’s easy for potential franchisees to find attorneys specializing in franchising. Having an attorney with you can help relieve some of the headaches, and will make sure you don’t miss a vital piece of information that could play a serious role later on.
6. Carefully Consider Territory Definitions
The territory you plan to buy should be defined – knowing that is one of the most important aspects to understand before signing the franchise agreement. The size of the territory will depend on whether it’s an urban or suburban setting, along with population size.
7. Measure the Support the Franchisor Provides
The beauty in joining a franchise is that you won’t be going through this exciting time alone. Your corporate team is going to be there to ensure you begin this adventure successfully. However, make sure you know how much support your corporate team will provide.
- Will they help you with site selection and real estate?
- Do they provide advertising and marketing training before your grand opening?
- What kind of training will you and your employees receive before opening your doors?
- Will you have access to corporate team members for any questions you have?
All these questions can help you determine if this is really the right franchise for you.
8. Don’t Expect Success to Happen Overnight
Becoming a franchisee isn’t cheap and when you spend a large sum of money trying to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality, it can be easy to overestimate how quickly you’ll start bringing in a profit. You’ll want to have realistic forecasts in place that are based on slow and steady growth of your business. Don’t compare yourself to other franchisees – everybody’s journey is unique, and your path is not determined by others who have come before you. With time, patience and smart decisions, you’ll be on the fast-track to success in no time.
While diving into business ownership for the first time is a big step, it’s important that you’ve armed yourself with all the answers you need to make the right decision. At the end of the day, your decisions are what’s best for you – no one else.