7 Ways To Find The Perfect Franchise For You

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In the past year and a half, the UK has seen many changes, some of which will be reversed as restrictions are lifted – and others that are here to stay.

Having been working from home for over a year and enjoying the improved work/life balance that this offers, many Brits have found themselves re-evaluating their lives. For a significant number of these people, this means leaving the nine to five employment behind to strike up their own business through franchising.

A new kind of freedom day for employees

Franchising allows people to tap into an established business by buying a branch of that business for themselves.

Becoming a franchisee usually involves stumping up an initial fee to secure the business and then, once you start making money, paying a percentage of your takings to the franchisor.

Becoming a franchisee can be incredibly rewarding and, if you work hard, it can also be extremely lucrative. It also carries far less risk than launching your own business from the ground up.

As with any other kind of business, franchises come in all shapes and sizes and, for those looking for their first franchise opportunity, the choice can be a little daunting.

In this article, we’ll take you through seven different ways of finding the perfect franchise for you:

1. The Perfect Match

Although most franchisors will provide some training and lots of guidelines for running your business, it’s important to try to match up your new business with your existing skills and experience.

Before starting your search for a franchise business, consider your skills and strengths as well as the things that you are passionate about as this will help you to find a business that you enjoy and in which you have a good chance of success.

2. On The Right Path

Your next step is to think about the kind of industry your new business should be in, such as fast food, car hire, coffee or home care, etc.

When choosing an industry, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Your experience in a particular industry
  • Industry demand in your area
  • Longevity – for example, you should be looking at an industry that will be in demand for a long time, rather than one which is a trend or a fad.

As with our first section, this should also be an area in which you have some interest – this is important as, to begin with, you’re likely to be working long hours with little help, so it needs to be something you enjoy.

3. Money Matters

Now that you’ve got an idea of the kind of business and industry you’re after, it’s time to get down to brass tacks by looking at your budget. Almost every franchise opportunity will involve a financial investment from yourself and, while this varies from business to business, you should be budgeting for:

  • The franchise initial fee
  • Set up costs, including equipment/materials
  • Marketing for the launch of your business
  • Living expenses for yourself for at least six months

Banks will generally see a franchise business as a good bet when making a business loan. Still, you should always read your franchise contract carefully, as some franchisors will expect you to invest a certain percentage of your own capital.

You’ll also need to make yourself aware of the ongoing fees and percentages you will pay to the franchisor once your business is up and running.

Making Connections

4. Making Connections

So, you’re now armed with the outline of your business, and you know how much cash you have to play with; it’s time to get out there and mingle.

Franchise fairs and exhibitions can be an excellent way of finding out what’s available in your area and can help you to gain a little inspiration by meeting people who have been there and done that. Pay a visit to The British Franchise Association to find out about forthcoming events (as well as lots of other really useful information to help you on your way).

5. Touching Base

Your next step on the journey to franchise freedom is to start putting together your database of contacts. This should include:

  • Contacts gained from visiting events
  • Franchisors
  • Potential customers
  • Marketing contacts such as local media and bloggers

This central database will be absolutely vital once you’re ready to launch your business so, it’s worth paying close attention to this.

6. Getting Social

By now, you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, and you’re approaching crunch time in terms of making a decision. At this point, it’s really sensible to set up some social media pages and join some groups. This will allow you to engage with members of your local community to find out how they feel about a particular kind of new business within the area. This can be really helpful in making that final decision and starting your journey as a franchisee.

7. Signing On The Dotted Line

Once you’re ready to commit to your franchise, it’s a good idea to meet with or talk to existing franchisees within the brand to get the lowdown on what it’s like as well as some helpful tips.

You should also enlist the services of a solicitor to look over your franchise contract for you to make sure that there aren’t any nasty surprises further down the line. At this stage, you’ll also need to be putting together a killer marketing campaign to make sure that your business gets off to a flying start.

Conclusion

Deciding on the right franchise opportunity for you is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s vital that you put in the time and effort to make the right choice. Once you’ve committed to a franchise, you’re automatically locked into a contract with the franchisor as well as being committed to repaying any business loans, regardless of whether you succeed or not. For this reason, you need to do your due diligence so talk to as many people as possible and make sure that you’re fully aware of everything that will be required of you.

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