There is no question that there are clear guidelines to consider when shopping for a franchise opportunity. There are personal guidelines for you to consider on your end.and there are certain elements you are looking for in the franchisor, too.
Your own personal checklist might look like this:
- I have enough money or can borrow enough money to meet upfront franchise fees and ongoing fees for at least 18 months
- The day to day operations in this franchise are in sync with how I'd like to spend my time
- The day to day management responsibilities are harmonious with my strengths and talents and skills
- The person at the helm of the franchise opportunity is of strong reputation and likeability
- The culture of the franchise opportunity is in sync with my own values and style
- I believe that the future of the franchise opportunity combines vision and practicality
- The structure of the organization, (public, non public, or soon to go public) is one I find acceptable
- I know how many hours I'm willing to invest weekly in the business
Of course there is a checklist regarding the franchisor, too:
- The franchise organization is financially healthy
- The litigation history is acceptable and has been explained satisfactorily
- The organization has had consistent franchise growth
- The organization has a strong Franchise Owner's Association that works in concert with management
- Management shows an openness to new ideas
- Earnings Claims are available and satisfactory, or if not available, franchisees are willing to help you to understand the financial picture
- Franchisor requires franchisees to work the business full time or not. In either case, that meets with my criteria
- Franchisor is clear on its support of multi-unit opportunities or not. In either case, that meets with my long term goals for the business
As part of your Due Diligence, you should also:
- Review the franchise's Uniform Offering Circular (UFOC)
- Interview a varied group of franchisees with a list of pre-designed questions
- Visit a local franchise unit or two
- Visit the organization's headquarters and meet with key management
And while I fully acknowledge the necessity of researching carefully and asking all the right questions.at some point a decision needs to be made.
And the decision, in my mind, comes down to the "Magic Click"
- Does this opportunity feel like the right "fit" for me?
- Do I feel comfortable conversing with management and fellow franchisees?
- Can I see myself becoming a member of this franchise family? A leader within the organization?
- Can I see myself having fun while managing this business?
- Do I see a values and personality fit with the key players?
- Do I see myself growing side by side with this franchise?
- Are my instincts telling me this is the right business organization for me?
For years I put my head together with prospective franchisees who were examining our system for its solvency and its future. My sales team and I answered question after question on their respective checklists.
And here's what I learned for sure: When it came down to the final decision, I often asked my prospects to check into their hearts and to check into their guts. In fact, I reminded them that they had made many big decisions in the past in this way.
Because the truth is this: The partnership between franchisee and franchisor needs to "click!"
And it needs to "click!" for both parties.
Trust me.if there's any magic answer to look for.it's the one about "the click!"
When it's there, you know it, and you have a good chance of working successfully with this franchise organization.
Please give that good thought before you sign on the dotted line.
For more information on franchises or to search for a franchise to purchase please visit www.franchisegator.com.