The Fall Franchise Chase!

There are a number of reasons that the period between mid-August and mid-September begins one of the busiest franchise development seasons of the year. 

This is what you need to know right now.

We see a number of franchise brands begin, or revive, their franchise development programs mid-August to Mid September.  Their goal is to be ready for the busy Spring season, but for the very savvy franchise opportunity seeker you can find great emerging opportunities with a lot of available territory while the field of play is a little less crowded!

Better yet, lenders seem to be more aggressive getting money out on the street.

How to find those opportunities:  You often need to be, or know, an industry insider to see who is beginning to ramp up a development program.  If you aren’t find one; you are looking for franchise professionals, consultants and the like. Contact them, ask what is new and interesting.  Ask what new brands also have new but proven executives.  We find that before a successful growth push, new brands will often go find proven pros to support that effort.

The same rules stand.  Make sure any concept is a good fit for you, know yourself.  Do a full investigation.  Crunch the numbers.  Talk to any owners they have.  If you can’t build comfort then don’t move forward.

Have you had a great year?  Looking for a business expense?

I am not a tax advisor, but if you had the opportunity to invest in business growth and lower your tax obligation then, well, that is not a tough decision for most.

If your tax advisor agreed that a franchise fee and start up costs were a good write off to lower your taxes… get moving!

It tends to take 2 to 6 weeks to evaluate a franchise, and 2 is very short.  So let’s say 4 to be safe…  You need to find something to look at, say that takes another 2 weeks.  You are maybe looking at Mid to late October to be a franchisee and have paid your franchise fee.  That is workable, but if you wait much longer you start closing in on the holidays.  At that point you may be travelling, they may be travelling, timing becomes more of a challenge (but not impossible).

If you want to pursue a franchise opportunity and business expense at this time of the year it is best to circle your advisors.  Maybe that accountant, maybe a franchise consultant and other specialties as they are needed.

For franchises where you will have a brick and mortar presence those lease, build out and opening expenses may fall into next year at this point.  That is not bad as they will offset some of your revenue next year.  This could give you a split benefit that can also be pretty desirable.

Franchise fees alone provide a pretty desirable expense if that is part of your game plan.

That opening date is also a big factor.  If you begin your process next Spring as opposed to now, you will be looking at a different start up period on the calendar.  For a brick and mortar business that might push you into next Fall or Winter, over a year away and some feel the slower end of the calendar.  Most of our candidates want to target early Spring to open, especially if they are opening a fitness concept.  Getting fitness clients going into the holidays is often more of a challenge.

Best reason:  Making a fresh start.

How exciting would it be to be able to go through the holidays talking to friends and family about the move you have made to control your destiny and build a franchise empire?

That is one of the biggest motivators of people searching for franchises in the Fall.  They want to take the leap into business ownership and the holidays offer a great time to take a break from work, spend time with your family and prepare for the next phase of your career.  This way you can hit the ground running and be ready for an active Spring season in your new business.

End of year is a natural break and start point, companies have used it for one of their busiest downsizing seasons for years.  Now many franchise candidates turn the tables and use it as a time to begin their break away from corporate America.

Spring may be a little more active, but Fall is my favorite time of the year for empire building.  With a little work you can be on your way to a great next year building your own empire.

Use the very same skills building your own empire as you have building someone else’s!

What is your success story?  Let’s go find it!

George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution. Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.

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