For many prospective small business owners, pursuing a franchise opportunity is significantly more attractive than starting a small business from scratch. There are several good reasons why you might think that way:
It is important to recognise that although there are a number of advantages to franchise ownership, it is not a guarantee of small business success. The wrong franchise opportunity can fail just as catastrophically as can the wrong small business opportunity. In order to maximise your chances of success and the benefits of a franchise business, you must identify a franchise system and brand that has a track record or strong prospects of success AND that offers a franchise opportunity that respects the legitimate interests of franchisees. This, of course, is more easily said than done.
The choice for prospective franchise owners is vast and bewildering. The 25th Edition of The UK Franchising Directory lists over 1500 franchise opportunities currently available in the UK across dozens of industries. The investment at stake here is likely to be one of the most significant you'll ever make and the consequences of a poor decision at the outset could be devastating, both financially and professionally. Potential franchise owners must do their homework before choosing a franchise, obtain the right professional advice and make sure that they get the answers to all the important questions that anyone going into business for themselves should ask. We suggest that there are five areas upon which a potential franchise owner ought to focus their attention when evaluating a franchise opportunity:
If like most potential franchise owners, you have little previous experience of business ownership, it is unlikely that you will have had much experience in assessing a business opportunity with the depth and rigour that an investment of this magnitude demands. This is why we offer our professional franchise evaluation service to potential franchise owners who are looking for independent advice on the viability and attractiveness of a particular franchise opportunity. We can:
You may well have already identified one or more franchises that you feel are a fit for you, your experience, interests and financial goals. If required, we will suggest other franchise options that we believe might be of interest. In order to properly evaluate an opportunity, there needs to be a point of comparison. Therefore, it is important that we evaluate at least two franchise opportunities or businesses. There is such a thing as too much choice and we would suggest that you restrict the number of franchises under serious consideration to a maximum of four.
We will then complete a franchise evaluation in which we assess the attractiveness of the various franchise opportunities under consideration across the key dimensions of business viability: business model viability, market viability, industry viability and financial viability. This will allow the different opportunities to be directly compared with each other in every critical aspect. Based upon this assessment, you will be able to clearly identify which, if any, of the franchise opportunities under consideration are most attractive to pursue to the next stage.
After you have successfully evaluated the various franchises that initially caught your attention, you will want to take the next steps towards the purchase of a franchise. These steps will include:
Our project managers here at Continuous Business Planning can support you throughout the entire process and can, of course, help you with the production of a business plan. Our goal, for those who have a preference for franchising over starting their own business from scratch, is to provide you with all the information that you will need to arrive at an informed decision as to which of the many franchise businesses available are right for you. Unlike other so called franchise advisors who receive the vast majority of their income from the franchisors, we are an independent resource, with no agenda other than to help our clients find the right business for them. Contact us today to see how we can help you take your first steps to the personal and financial freedom that a great franchise partnership can offer.