People who studied business in school or learned the ropes from an owner-operator often dream of opening their own business. However, there are questions to ask oneself before actively shopping for a franchise, reviewing a franchisor’s disclosure document, or attending a discovery day. The answers to these inward-looking questions from experts can provide a good foundation for success and help you avoid poor decisions.
Do you have the skills?
The skillset needs to fit the franchise. The potential franchisee needs to recognize their strengths and whether this is enough to be a core skill set for the business. It is essential to understand that industry experience is not the same as a working knowledge of the business model. Actually, the franchisor can teach you the industry, but a lack of other skills needed for the success of the venture may not be teachable. For example, do you have the ability to market the business properly, do you have customer service experience if this is a retail business or do you have the organizational skills needed to run a business.
Does it fit my lifestyle?
Business owners generally live at their businesses early on, which can be a problem if there are a spouse and young children at home. Those used to long trips may need to switch to short midweek getaways. You are creating your own job description, so make sure the role fits.
Is there a vision?
Franchises are generally a safer but more expensive alternative to a startup. Nevertheless, there needs to be clear visions and goals for how the future should look. This can help with hiring staff, creating a successful brand and marketing plan and enabling the entire team to understand the priorities.
Support for taking the next step
Building a franchise does not happen in a vacuum. There is guidance from the franchisor as well as help from mentors, friends, family, and professionals. Experienced franchise attorneys can be indispensable guides as well, protecting candidates by negotiating contracts that minimize legal exposure and hold, franchisors, business partners and landlords accountable.