The path to starting a franchise business can be daunting. With so much to learn about and navigate: requirements, regulations, and laws, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a few tips or pointers? Well that’s exactly what the Franchise Gator team has put together. We asked some of the most prominent names in the franchise space one simple question:
“If you could only give potential franchisees one piece of advice, what is it?”
If you’ve ever had questions on how to start a franchise, read on to see the answers straight from the experts.
“If you are looking for the perfect franchise opportunity, forget it. There is no such thing. The franchisor’s job is to provide the tools to create success. In the end, what you do with those tools is up to you. Perfection is not found. It is created.”
- Rick Bisio – Franchise Consultant – The Educated Franchisee
“Do not fall in love with a concept, instead be sure you love what you will be doing as the owner of the concept and what the business can do for you. Be sure to match your goals, skill set, and business model to the franchise before making the decision to invest. There are over 3100 concepts, you should not settle for anything that is not a match for you.”
- Jania Bailey, CFE, President & COO, Frannet
“Buying a franchise is a huge decision and for most people a significant departure from corporate America where payroll check are delivered like clockwork. It is very important for new franchisees to join a system that can provide the opportunity to meet and hopefully exceed their required earning levels. Regardless if it is a single unit or multiple points, going into franchising with a realistic financial plan that meets individual life style requirements is critical. To me this is the difference between buying a job and building a business.”
- Dave Schaefers SRVP of Franchise Development Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc.
“The best advice I have for someone starting a franchise is to make sure they have strong unit economics and that they develop a business plan for the franchise organization, with an understanding of the resources and time it will take them to be in a positive cash flow position. The business plan will also force them to look at all areas of the business and make sure they are thinking of everything.
And finally, it would be best to have a consultant that is experienced in franchising from a C-Level Perspective to review the business plan and provide insight. The transition from being an operator into being a franchisor is a totally different business. Most of those that are new to franchising do not know what it really takes and it is almost impossible for them to educate themselves at the forefront to avoid costly mistakes. Therefore, comprehensive planning, followed by experienced support is what they should do. In fact, it may be best for the to create a board of directors of experienced franchise professionals to help guide their growth process.”
- Marty Greenbaum – President, Greenbaum Marketing Communications
“My advice is not to always look at the obvious as the connection between what you like or enjoy and what you’d like to do in a franchise business. Often, it’s what the business provides and to specific target audiences that may be more in line with what you love or what you’re passionate about. Think outside the box to explore those franchise opportunities.”
- Paul R. Segreto, CFE, President & CEO, Franchise Foundry
“If you interview successful franchise owners from any brand, you’ll find that they own businesses in systems where franchise owners are both profitable and enjoy their businesses. With the average length of time franchise owners keep businesses, it has become much more important for owners to select business they really enjoy; businesses that make owner excited to wake up every morning and spend time in. As Menchie’s CEO Amit Kleinberger often says, ‘Making money is great, but the way you make money has become more important.’
Look for businesses that do something you enjoy or provide a service or product that helps people in specific ways. If you enjoy people, for instance, you might enjoy a frozen yogurt business that makes people smile. If faith is important, you might enjoy being part of a franchise system that places an emphasis on faith as part of its identity. If green and environmental issues are important, you might like a home service that uses environmentally-friendly products.
Either way, look for businesses that overlap with your core values and interests – you’ll be more passionate about the business and your customers will respond with their business.”
Thomas Scott, Franchise Consultant, Franchise Performance Group
“Make sure you have the requisite capital, skills, experience to win, fit the corporate culture, and have tremendous passion for the brand. Make sure the franchisor treats franchisees as equals.”
- Joe Mathews, Founding Partner, Franchise Performance Group
“The 3 keys to choosing and operating a successful franchise are:
- Jeff Sturgis, President, Franchise System Advisors
“Talk privately (and confidentially) with as many existing franchisees as possible. Find out if the “promises” equal “reality” as a franchisee of XYZ. Don’t get caught up in the emotional aspects of being “self employed”…investing in a franchise is serious “business” and I believe existing franchisees can tell you more in 10 minutes then you will learn writing a detailed business plan!”
- Jeff Johnson, Founder and CEO, Franchise Research Institute®
“Ask yourself, are you a doer or a dreamer? Will you toss the time clock and commit whatever it takes to grow your business today, tomorrow and five years from now? Franchising offers a proven roadmap providing tools, systems, branding and support … but you’re the engine driving your success!”
- Steve Olson, CFE, President of Franchise Update Media Group, and former franchisee of the year.
“Every franchise opportunity comes with both burdens and benefits. Burdens include an upfront franchise fee, an ongoing royalty and other fees, and the loss of personal freedom. Forget the hype about “being your own boss,” when you buy a franchise you agree to do what you’re told, whether you like it or not. A good franchise provides benefits advantages that SIGNIFICANTLY outweigh the burdens. Many franchises, if not most, do not.”
- Sean Kelly, Publisher, FranBest.Com Media Network
“Prospective franchisees need analytic clarity to sort through this industry’s one-sided bull and sales spin. The investor should not be lulled into trying to qualify to join the club. They need to feel in control of investing sizable money in the right business. 3 Big questions to know the answer to …
- Don Sniegowski, Editor, Blue MauMau Inc.
“Franchising is by definition a contractual arrangement between two parties. So a prospective franchisee ought to set aside some money to hire its own experienced lawyer to guide it through the process. Becoming a franchisee is a life changing decision. Thus it is foolish to not hire a lawyer simply in order to save a few dollars. Dollars spent on the front-end for both legal and accounting guidance are dollars well spent.“
- W.C. Garth Snider, Esq., Humphries and Company
“The search for the best franchise starts with an honest self-evaluation. When franchises fail, it is often due to undercapitalization or a bad fit from the standpoint of skill set. So ask yourself how much capital you can realistically put at risk.
Ask yourself if you are a risk taker – knowing that increased risk may mean increased rewards.
Ask yourself what skills you possess – and more importantly which skills you lack. Determine what you value most in a potential franchise opportunity, whether it be independence, financial return, or flexibility.
And most of all, ask yourself what you love. You may be working in this franchise for the next 20 years or more and, at least at first, you will be working long days and weekends. We are always at our best when we bring passion to an endeavor, so make sure you know your passion before you buy.”
- Mark Siebert, CEO, The iFranchise Group, Inc.
“Don’t assume that you know exactly what your role is going to be as The Owner of a specific franchise business you’re interested in. Schedule a conversation with the franchise representative so you can find out what your role would actually be.“
- Joel Libava, The Franchise King
“My advice for someone looking at buying a franchise is to be sure they like the business and the franchisor and to make sure they meet with the franchisor for a discovery day prior to buying.”
- Tom DuFore, COO, Franchise Marketing Systems
“The best piece of advice I give to our clients who are considering a franchise…take the risk and pursue your dreams! Life is short and don’t over contemplate your decision to move forward. Once you take the risk, you will instinctively want to help others do the same with their lives and you will never look back”
- Sue Bennett, Principal, FranFinders, LLC
Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to start a franchise for some of your favorite brands?
We’ve put together an interactive infographic full of information on some of our customers’ favorite brands. Franchisors include: Seven Eleven, Subway, Cold Stone Creamery, GNC, Pizza Hut and more. Each franchise logo can be clicked on, bringing up information on the total investment, liquid capital, franchising fees, and royalty fees required.
Sorting the franchises in our infographic is extremely easy. At the very top, you’ll see two orange tabs for filtering: ‘filter by industry’ and ‘sort by’. With these two tabs you can sort the franchises alphabetically, by investment costs, and by industry (food/beverage and retail). When filtering, the infographic will only show franchises based on your selections.
Link to infographic: How much does it cost to start a franchise?
Check it out and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
All across the nation, veterans serve in various roles from managers to board members of franchise businesses. This year, Senator Bob Casey is hoping to step up the veteran efforts and help get more soldiers into business and working.
A new bipartisan coalition, lead by Sen. Casey and Republican Marco Rubio, is hoping to create a tax credit for veterans who purchase a franchise. “This policy will help our brave men and women in uniform as they make the transition from a soldier to a veteran who has to support their family,” said Sen. Casey.
Although the franchise industry has helped create thousands of jobs for veterans through programs like VetFran, those returning home are still met with a struggle when trying to find employment.
The new tax credit, Helping Veterans Own Franchises Act, if passed, will provide veteran franchise business owners with a tax credit that is equal to 25% of the franchise fee (up to $100,000).
Currently, the International Franchise Association estimates that 1 of every 7 franchised businesses is owned and operated by a US veteran. This is equal to more than 66,000 businesses that provide more than 800,000 jobs. Casey stresses the need for more and different ways to provide economic outlets for veterans that are returning home
BookKeeping Express, a U.S. bookkeeping services franchisor, has announced the opening of their first Ohio office in the Loveland area. The new location will help serve the Loveland area, in addition to those in the Northeast Cincinnati.