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A PRIMER ON GETTING A FRANCHISE BUSINESS

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									     A PRIMER ON GETTING A FRANCHISE BUSINESS


So...you are thinking about either starting your/a new business from scratch, or
possibly upgrading an existing business to take advantage of the benefit side of
franchising such as possibly better advertising opportunities, better supply of goods
for sale, name recognition.. any or all of the above.

The attractions and benefits of the better known and reliable franchises are many.

But as is true in the laws of physics where it states "for every action there is an
equal and opposite reaction", so it is true of franchising, and to know if it
(Franchising) is for you, you must understand these basic tradeoffs.

Franchising in a way is like a middle ground between being totally self employed and
being an employee. You have many freedoms but as a franchisee, you have many,
many rules to go by. The whole heart of franchising is STANDARDIZATION. And in
fact, it??s what you are paying for.

One of the first things you have to ask yourself.. even before the money question is:
"Is this for me?" and a key part of that is some self introspection: Can I willingly
trust and take orders and direction? Do I HAVE to be the guiding and creative light in
my business? If you can't answer this in the affirmative, then Franchising is probably
NOT for you. To be a successful franchisee, you MUST be able and willing to follow
the model of the franchise you will own.

Next, and particularly if you are starting up, and again before the money question
you should ask, "Is this a product or service I can really feel somewhere from
between enthusiastic to passionate about?". It??s not an absolute "must" to answer
that in the affirmative, however study after study shows that a person working in a
field they have a love or happiness for consistently is more successful that someone
just doing a job because "its their job". There??s seldom enough money over time to
make it worth while to do a job just for the pay.

Now we??ll assume you HAVE decided having a franchise is for you.

Your next biggest question is "Which one?" Sometimes there is only one choice for
any number of reasons.. Finances to obtain one is an obvious reason. Possibly there
is only one franchise in your chosen field. Or maybe the geographic availability may
or may not coincide with what you want or need.

But let??s assume for the moment that you do have a choice, so your next questions
have to do with income and income objectives. Are you in this for the long haul and
you want long term career income? Do you see it as a short term investment that
you'll do the startup only; get a client base, then sell.. supposedly at a handsome
profit? If so, have you checked the fine print on terms and conditions of resale? Are
you allowed to do that, or do you have to revert the franchise to the franchisor?

This is even important if you plan on the long haul.. what would your retirement or
exit strategy be?
If a franchise can be sold.. are there any in place that are for sale? Cost compared to
a startup?

Then on the short term plans.. have you talked to other franchise holders to see if
they are happy? If the franchisor has kept their word as represented ? Would they do
it all over again?

And finally.. how long until you actually turn a profit? Do you have enough funds to
sustain you until that time?

This article is intended only as a Primer. There are many good and complete full
books available on the subject such as "The Franchising Handbook". As we
introduced you to some of the basic concepts, we now suggest if you still have an
interest you get a full book on the subject and begin to read; followed by beginning
personal interviews.

								
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