According to the International Franchise Association, the franchise industry is set to grow by 1.7% in 2016, resulting in almost 800,000 franchises in the U.S. With the continued growth and success of the franchise sector, opening a franchise is something that many individuals with many different backgrounds are considering. It requires a unique blend of business knowledge, passion for a brand, teachability, financial planning and good old hard work to open a franchise, and it’s not for everyone. If you are considering a franchise, ask yourself these 5 questions. If you can answer all 5 affirmatively, you’re probably ready to give franchising a try.
1. Have you researched everything you can about the franchise you’re looking into? You should have a complete understanding of the business. A great way to do this is to talk to current franchise owners and pick their brains. Ask them about the ups and the downs and write down a detailed list of everything they have done to get to where they are.
2. Do you have enough basic business knowledge to successfully run your own franchise? You definitely don’t need a business degree to own a franchise. You do however need to understand basic concepts of marketing, customer service, leadership, etc. You also need to have a sound understanding of how your business will use money and make money. This leads right into question three.
3. Do you have a financial plan in place? Franchises often require a large start-up fee, require you to have a certain net worth and need to see a history of financial success. It is important that you prepare financially before opening a franchise. Research your financing options just as thoroughly as you research your franchise.
4. Are you teachable? As franchises are based on a business model that is already successful, it is important that you are willing to learn, change your ways and adapt. A good franchise will usually give owners extensive training and provide them with continued guidance should you need help at any time in the future.
5. Are you ready to work hard and dedicate your professional career to successfully running a franchise? Just because you’re opening a business that has seen success before, it does not mean it will be easy. You will probably work long hours and be called on to perform many tasks.
Bonus question: Are you passionate about the product or services that your franchise will be selling? It’s important not only that you believe in your product but that you enjoy your business choice as well.
There is a lot more to franchising than what we’ve gone over above. But if you answered the questions above successfully, you might be ready to pursue being your own boss with a franchise.