How to Start a Franchise: A 12- Month Plan to Become a Franchisee
If you are interested in franchising, but feel like you are not quite ready yet, you are in the right place. 52% of Brits dream of turning their hobby into a career and with the right commitment, you could be ready to make the change in as little as a year or even a few months. In this post, we look at what you need to do to prepare to invest in a franchise, and to ensure your venture is a success.
Up to 1 year before – Evaluate your suitability
Before you dedicate too much of your valuable time to researching franchise options, you need to be sure franchising is the right option for you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Why do I want to start a franchise?
- Am I the type of franchisee that franchise businesses are looking for?
- Can I follow the franchise structure and adhere to their operating methods?
- Am I committed to putting in the long hours and hard work necessary to get a franchise up and running?
- What are the personal consequences if it doesn’t work out?
10-11 months before: Evaluate the market
Now that you are clear on your motivations for starting a franchise, you can use these insights to help you to choose which franchise to invest in. You might be looking for a better work-life balance and to manage your childcare effectively, part-time franchises or home based franchises are particularly suitable for this lifestyle.
8 – 9 months before: Evaluate the franchisor
After you have conducted much of your initial research, you will want to thoroughly investigate your top franchisors. Choose a list of the five you believe to be most suitable for you, and reach out to them to ask questions or to enquire about their discovery days.
After extensive background checks, make a list of your top five franchise options, with their contact details. Reach out to franchisors and ask about their Discovery Days. Listed below are some important questions to ask franchisors to make sure you get all of the information you need to make a decision.
- What kind of people are you looking for to be franchisees?
- What is your growth plan for the business?
- Can you explain your operational model?
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
- What training and support do you offer?
- Are you willing to introduce me to existing franchisees?
6 – 7 months before: Speak to other franchisees
Now you have done significant research into the franchisors you may wish to work with, it is time to speak to others that have gone through the process. Most reputable franchisors will be happy to put you in touch with some of their franchisees. It can be very useful to get a first-hand account about the experience of setting up a franchise business.
Good questions to ask franchisees:
- Why did you want to become a franchisee?
- Why did you choose this business in particular?
- What is the best / most challenging thing about running this franchise?
- Did this franchise live up to your expectations?
- Is there anything specific you wish you had known before you got started?
5 months before: Evaluate your finances
One of the most important elements of buying a franchise is ensuring that it is a worthwhile investment, and that you have your finances in order to fund your new venture. You should now know how much you will be asked for by franchisors, and you should have an idea of any other fees and charges.
You should also draw up your own forecast of costs. It is essential to ensure that you have enough spare cash to get your business off the ground. If you determine that you don’t quite have enough, now is the time to draw up a budget and timeline for meeting your savings goals. You might also wish to start looking at your credit options, and your credit score.
1 – 2 months before starting a franchise: Get ready to commit to franchising
By this stage, you should be informed and both practically and financially prepared. You will now need to commit to choosing your franchise, negotiating the franchise agreement and signing the paperwork. After this has been done – the real work begins. You will need to find a suitable location and start recruiting employees, as well as begin marketing your franchise. But, at this stage you are now officially a franchisee.
Are you ready to start your franchise? Browse franchise opportunities in the Quality Franchise Association Members Directory.