So you’ve decided to open your own franchise business. Congratulations! Operating the right franchise offers all the rewards of small business ownership, along with the added benefits of having support from a franchisor at headquarters and a proven business model to follow. Next step: how to shop for a franchise that’s right for you. In this article we’ll cover a few tips and top things to research when deciding on a franchise to invest in.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a franchise is whether or not the franchisor is stable. When preparing to invest your money, time, and energy into a new franchised business venture, it’s important to know that the franchisor is dependable, healthy, and prepared for the future.
Looking at the organization’s years in business can be a good starting point in determining whether it will be there to support you for the duration of your franchise agreement and beyond. Though a newer company isn’t necessarily unstable, you may feel more confident that a company is doing something right if they’ve been around, thriving, for a long time. For example, PostNet has been in business for 26 years. That’s more than a quarter-century of navigating economic ebbs and flows, not to mention major changes in the way consumers shop and use technology. A franchisor’s ability to withstand those market shifts and remain successful can be a good indicator that the franchisor will continue to provide the great leadership and innovation required to adjust to future changes.
You can also get information on a franchise by checking a reputable source such as Entrepreneur magazine, which puts out an annual ranking of its top 500 franchises (a list that PostNet has been named to 25 times since it was founded).
Stability in a company is important, but there must also be room to grow. Be sure to check the available markets for the franchise you’re interested in to ensure that your area is not already oversaturated (as may be the case with some franchise organizations).
Additionally, consider the industry you would be a part of. Even the best-run company can’t guarantee long-term success unless they’re in an industry with growth potential. Do your research by looking up reports and trends to determine whether you’ll be entering into an industry that will continue growing.
[Learn more about why print is a growing industry in a digital world.]
Another great way to feel confident in your decision to purchase a franchise is to talk to the experts — fellow franchisees! Travel around to different franchise locations and talk to franchise owners to get a sense of what it’s really like to be part of their organization. Many franchisees are happy to share their experiences and advice, which can be an invaluable part of the decision-making process.
Be sure to ask detailed questions that will yield the type of information you need to make your decision. What level of support does corporate headquarters provide to help franchisees succeed? What do they wish they had known before deciding to go into the franchise business? How do they market their business?
There is always risk involved in opening a franchise (like any small business). But by doing thorough research and following these steps, you’ll be prepared to confidently choose the right franchise and give yourself the best possible chance to achieve your goals in your new business.