Getting into franchising for the first time is exciting. There are many new experiences and challenges, and lots of new things to learn. With so many moving parts, there are also many chances to make mistakes, and while some mistakes will be learning experiences, others could potentially cause a franchise to fail.
Brand new franchisees would be wise to consider the experience of those that came before them as well as help and advice provided by the franchisor.
For beginners, some types of franchises are better than others. As potential first-time franchisors do their research, they may want to consider some of the following.
A Hands-On Franchisor
Part of the reason for buying a franchise is for the support of an established business model and methods, but the level of direct support from the franchisor varies among franchises. For first-time franchisees, having a more-involved franchisor is a plus because the franchisor will be able to walk you through the process step-by-step and help you avoid many missteps and problems along the way.
Even very large parent companies where the franchisor can't possibly do much hand-holding of individual franchisees may be good options if a liaison or team is provided to help new franchisees. Another alternative to direct involvement by the franchisor is a detailed training process that will give franchisees the help and information they need to succeed.
A Well-Established System
Franchises that have been around for a while tend to have well-established systems for doing everything from hiring new workers to ordering inventory. These systems can help franchise beginners get up and running without having to learn a lot of things by trial and error, which can be costly for a franchise.
An existing franchise that has been successful can also be a great help to a first-time franchisee, who can just pick up and continue the successful practices of the previous franchisee. There is plenty of time to evaluate and make changes later, when you have more experience. At the beginning, however, it may be better just to follow what you know will be successful.
A Successful Marketing Strategy
Franchising has much in common with owning a business, including the fact that the person in charge has many aspects of management to consider simultaneously. Tracking the finances, hiring and firing, ordering inventory, supervising workers, and marketing the franchise - the list goes on. Marketing is an essential part of any business, since people can't buy what they don't know about.
Most beginner franchisees don't have much marketing experience, so finding a franchise that already has a successful campaign in place can help them learn and get up to speed on what successful marketing looks like. At the least, making sure the parent company has a strong national campaign in which you can participate will help you get started.
What do a hands-on franchisor, a well-established system and a successful marketing strategy have in common for first-time franchisees? All three of these make use of other people's experience and expertise in order to have a successful franchise. As time goes on, new franchisees will gain their own experience and expertise, and will be able to improve on existing systems, but at first, it makes sense to stick with tried-and-true methods.
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