Finding the Right Franchise to Own

All too often folks put off until next year what they should be doing right now. Franchising is almost always one of those cases.

“When did Noah build the Ark? Before the rain.” – Nathan Muir, Character in the movie Spy Game

When did you need to make a decision on which brand was your perfect franchise to be open right now or early fall? That needed to happen late last year or early spring of 2015. This is why summer is the perfect time to plan for your future, 2016 is coming together right now!

Put off taking very simple measured steps and you are going to be planning for 2017 or beyond. What happens when we put off taking action? Opportunity cost, the revenue you have elected to put in someone else’s bank account.

So let’s talk about your summer game plan a bit

If you have been selecting concepts based on brand or your consumer experience you may want to go back to the starting point and build a proper model to target just those companies that match your skills, strengths, likes goals, etc before focusing in on the brand. Contact me personally if you have any questions.

The starting point:

We build a model for our candidates so that they come out of the gate looking at the right companies for them and avoiding frustration, wasted time and potential bad decisions. We take that model and compare it to a wide range of companies so that we can distill their matches down to the best of the best and they can do full investigations of two to four opportunities.

Initially the goal is to set what are often uninformed preconceptions aside so that our candidate can get up to speed on franchising as a system and what to look for. We also spend a good deal of time confirming what they thought their model was. It often happens that how people think they want to work is different than how they really want to work when it comes down to taking action.

You have to be ready to discard the nonfitting parts of your model and redefine how you will fit into a business and how the business will fit you. There is no benefit to selling yourself or a franchisor on you having a skill or lifestyle desire that you don’t have. You will be much better dialing in a proper model and targeting the right companies than force fitting yourself into a model not built for you.

A word of caution, as you begin contacting franchisors make sure you are contacting them directly and not handing your information to a lead development company that will resell your information. Lead sellers operate online, on major franchise portals and contact job seekers directly. Our candidates avoid this by getting direct executive introductions that we have verified before they are introduced.

Investigating concepts:

Notice that was concepts (plural), not concept (singular). Wherever possible you want to put concepts that fit your model side by side. You will find important points to compare and contrast along the way. Investigating is not buying; investigating is building your knowledge base. Google, on its own, is not an adequate investigation strategy.

How many really successful people do you know that have a lot of time for posting online about their success? You have to contact successful people directly and schedule time to get their input.

Calling your friends and family to see if you should buy a particular franchise is not an investigation strategy. While they care for you they may not know what you need to know to make a great business decision.

Conducting a proper franchise investigation involves some very specific experiences. Talk to the franchisor, and for more than one phone call. Keep in mind that you will initially be talking to the development team, not the training or support teams that you would spend the next 5-15 years leaning on for the keys to success in that business.

Franchise development departments tend to be very professional and focused on education rather than bringing every prospect on-board. You are entering a mutual evaluation, not a sales process if you are talking to top

Go most of the way through the franchisors investigation process before closing the file, there is a lot to learn here even if you decide it is not the right fit! Some of the most costly decisions we see made are based on uninformed preconceptions. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Do your homework, all of it.

A good investigation involves talking to the franchisor, their franchisees and possibly a franchise attorney (not many family attorneys have this specialty) to review the franchise documents.

If you have a spouse they WILL be part of making the decision as this is a big family decision. You will not be saving any time by excluding them from the investigation process, you will just have to go through the investigation twice. Involve your spouse from the first call and talk to them expert advice after each step. Compare notes and each of you ask the questions that are important to you, there are no bad questions as you seek to pursue your greater goals.

Making big decisions:

Whether you choose to move forward or close the file on a concept, you are making a really big decision. Passing on what may be your perfect match sounds easy and risk free, but is missing an opportunity to hit your goals really risk free?

If you are using a franchise consulting firm like us, lean on them for making sure you have done your homework and overcoming fears or anxiety at the end of the process.

Your future is being decided every day. Summer is a great time to look at franchises, the people you need to talk to will be less busy right now. Competitors for the territory you want are at the beach putting off their goals for another year.

2016 starts now, GO!

Mr. 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 startup 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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