How To Research The ‘Franchise Opportunity’
The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the only self-accrediting body for the UK franchise sector. Its influence and support have helped many fledgling franchisees move from strength to strength in their field. So much so, in fact, that their guidance on how to choose a franchise business has led to plenty of successful partnerships.
However, there’s one area of advice that often confuses the entrepreneur: how to research the ‘Franchise Opportunity’. The ‘Franchise Opportunity’ is the commercial environment in which you’re entering. You’ll need to ask questions like, are they supportive? Do they offer additional financial assistance? What’s the total cost of membership?
Most questions won’t be immediately answered by your potential franchisor. But with thorough research, you can truly pinpoint the right organisation for you. To help, here we’ll explain how best to research the ‘Franchise Opportunity’.
Keep your ear to the ground
You can’t get a comprehensive overview unless you’ve spoken to those working every day under the supervision of your future partner. It isn’t enough to glance over testimonials on a franchisor’s website; instead, get actual feedback on what current franchisees are facing.
Look beyond the franchisees that your franchisor recommends too. They may attempt to cultivate a positive image through their happiest members, so it’s your job to investigate behind the highest performers and ascertain the struggles of your chosen franchise’s average member.
Choose franchisees that have a background akin to yours. Separate them into new members, middling performers and those who have experienced skyrocketing success. This will help in any negotiations you may have, and it will also show you what resources you’ll receive upon joining and throughout your franchise business journey.
Investigate the franchisor
Your franchisor may be harder to extract information from. You’ll already be familiar with the nature of their business, but before taking a leap of faith, familiarise yourself with their success rates. Ask them if they’ve lost any franchises. Get details as to why and determine the likelihood of the same circumstances affecting you.
If they’re forthcoming, ask about their background. This is considerably harder with a franchisor the scale of McDonald’s, for example, but the humble beginnings of your franchisor could – at the very least – provide inspiration or a brand essence you can invest in.
Finally, enquire about their plans for growth. Seeing the accomplishments that they’ve achieved so far only shows one side of the story. By asking them their plans for development, you’re able to identify the role you’ll play in that progression and measure the scope of your own success.
Determine the true value of membership
Don’t sign up to take on a franchise business without fully understanding the costs. Franchise fees and training expenditure can easily add up and hamper your venture before you’ve even began. That’s not including the various deposits you may be required to pay (such as shopfitting, vehicle hire and office supplies) which vary depending on the nature of the organisation you’re joining.
This should be detailed within the franchise agreement; however, you may not get a chance to see the final costs until you’ve already placed a deposit. Be sure to enquire about such prices when you’re conducting research with current franchisees.
Similarly, the support you receive after becoming a member should help influence your decision. Whether you receive marketing material, networking guidance or social media support, these are cost reductions that can be factored into your total start-up expenditure.
At Rainbow, we fully disclose all the relevant information you need to make an informed decision. We’re transparent about the franchisees on our Success Stories page, and offer a wide selection of marketing resources in addition to our training.
If you would like to discuss franchise opportunities with a team that believe in open conversation, get in touch today. Our onboarding advisors are always happy to answer any of your questions.