Buying a Franchise – is it a good way to start a small business?

Buying a Franchise – is it a good way to start a small business?

For people who are thinking about leaving their jobs and starting an unrelated business, one of the most difficult decisions to make is about the type of business to start. A lot of people have been in that position and ideas and opinion change on a daily basis; swinging from businesses that are believed to be profitable, to businesses that many might be interested in, to businesses that many enterprising individuals might seriously consider.  Many dream to have their own businesses but just couldn’t figure out what type of business to start, or how to actually run it. Then they hear about business format franchises and how they failed much less frequently than businesses started in any other way. Eureka! Surely this must be the way forward?

Yes, but what type of business franchise should you buy?

Okay, If you have decided to take the risk out of starting a business by buying a business format franchise, and this would show you how to do everything down to the last detail. But what type of business and which franchise should you buy?  You bought a book about buying a business franchise that listed a number of different franchises, sorted into business categories. It was really useful, and it talked about the factors to consider when buying a franchise. For example, whether the business had a successful trading history before it started selling franchises, that the money required for investment wasn’t just the franchise fee but needed to take everything into consideration, plus a reminder that the percentage taken by the franchisor wasn’t from the profits but from total sales, i.e., the from the top line before anything else was taken off.

Getting started with a business franchise

Once you have narrowed the type of business down you pick some franchises to investigate further. Look for those that really appeal to you, and go to their presentations for potential franchisees and find out about their quality. Choose the one that looks the most professional and signed up.  Ask to speak to any current franchisees. Get a business loan to supplement your savings in order to buy the franchise and get started with your franchise business. But it will be quite a struggle, particularly since you have no idea what you are doing and was naïve to an extent you can hardly believe now.

Here’s a video that explains how business franchising works:

Business format franchise documents and training

The training and documentation provided by franchisors is one of the main reasons people buy franchises, and this is usually comprehensive and very helpful. Take the business of being in business seriously enough and realise that it requires hard work. In this respect no amount of training and documentation can make up for the fact that rather than being the driven, hardworking soul that you imagined, you can actually be pretty lazy. You are not alone in this, since you’ll soon find other franchisees that could say the same thing for themselves. Some of them will say to you that they had always wanted their own business, and thought that they would be working on it twenty-four hours a day, but they weren’t.

Find out all about the local master franchisee

One of the main attractions of the franchise that you choose to buy is the local master franchisee. The local master franchisee is already established for a number of years and will provide amazing resources in terms of services and business contacts. But if the franchise is offered by an international company, make sure you find out find everything you can about the local master franchisee and their intentions for the future.

So, is buying a business format franchise a good way to get started in our own small businesses?

Yes. You can just continue the business under your own business name when your franchise expires and when you already know what you are doing.  Aside from your business’ day to day operations, you can handle marketing as well. However, it would be best if you just tap the services of a professional or an agency that will you  launch and manage successful PPC ad campaigns while reducing advertising costs. They will successfully promote your business to as many people as possible. A digital marketing agency can even help you set up a website and provide engaging content such as blogs and articles to increase traffic and generate sales.

Knowing what you know, you think you could easily have started the business without the enormous outlay on franchise fees (and royalties), but that’s the thing – you are new in the business and you need all the structure that the franchise can give you. People often think that if they could just go back and start again they would be able to do a much better job, but that’s not the way life works. We don’t know in the beginning what we know later, and we have to learn as we go. Using whatever knowledge and support a franchise can offer might enable  you to get going in your own businesses, where otherwise you couldn’t.