One of the biggest advantages of buying a franchise is the support you can get from the parent company. Franchisors have done a great deal of work in building up their business - work that you get to benefit from as a franchisee.
From Business Plan to Supply Contracts
Before you even open your doors as a franchise, your franchisor can provide input on creating a business plan that will maximize your success. Although you are sometimes allowed to deviate from the way other franchise locations have operated, it may not be wise to turn your back on a business plan that has proven itself to be successful in the past.
Other types of pre-opening help that may be available are location research and selection, design and construction of the building, and generating buzz about the grand opening of the franchise. It is part of the popularity of franchises that they offer a balance between independence in operating methods and the support of an established brand.
Another major way that franchisors can help is by allowing franchise locations to share in contracts that they have negotiated with suppliers. For franchises that sell products, such as restaurants and retail stores, there are often specific requirements about products and ingredients that may be used and the pricing structure of these products. These requirements can limit the chances for success without these wholesale contracts to enable franchisees to purchase items at low enough prices to make a profit.
Support Personnel Can Lend Valuable Insights
Most franchisors have dedicated personnel whose job it is to work with franchisees to help them be successful. These support personnel provide information about the business model, training for employees and owners, and help creating a successful marketing campaign so that the customer base is aware of your presence.
Other types of support personnel provided by the franchisor are realtors and legal help. These personnel have typically worked either within the organization itself or in the local area where the franchise will be located, and can offer expertise as the franchise is set up.
If your franchisor doesn't provide support personnel, he or she may still be available for questions that those personnel might otherwise be able to answer. Whether or not the franchisor offers any support resources, take the initiative and ask for help. You may not know what's actually available unless you pursue the issue.
Marketing Help Draws Customers
A common part of franchise contracts is some sort of help with marketing. Franchises generally have existing television advertising campaigns that you get to participate in, either as part of your existing license or for an additional fee, which is usually less than such a campaign would typically cost.
Other marketing help can also be available from the franchisor, including web site templates, radio ads, or direct mail marketing materials. Using the materials already created by the franchisor helps keep branding consistent and is typically well thought out and successful.