There’s no doubt that taking on a franchise can be an exciting future opportunity. But how do you pick the right one that matches both your needs, your budget and your skill set? Here’s our quick guide on what to look for and what you should be doing if you want to make a more informed decision.

Do Your Research

First of all, you need to research the franchise opportunity and this is not something that you should skimp on. Find out as much as you can, search online, talk to people, read and re-read the franchise promotional literature and do it with a certain analytic approach. Look at the background of the company and check its record on the marketplace. If you are going to invest your hard-earned money in a business, you want to make sure it’s as good a match as possible.

Brand is Important

If you think that a company’s brand is just it’s logo then you need to think again. It’s a lot more that. It’s about the ethos of the company, what it stands for and where it sees its place in the marketplace. A strong brand is something people trust and want to buy from. It should reflect not only your values but your morals too.

Once you have that, you already possess a story that you can tell your customers.

Support is Vital

Most franchise opportunities come with a degree of support that means you won’t be sat out there on your own. That may include how to present their brand and the different processes they use to ensure continuity over all outlets. Some franchisors offer more than others and that can help you develop better as a business owner. Of course, you might prefer a company that allows you to be more autonomous and that’s a judgement call for you to make.

The Finance

One of the main factors to taking on any franchise centres around the finances, namely how much are you going to have to pay for joining and what you realistically expect to earn from it. The working capital is just as important as the initial amount you are going to have to put into the business and making sure you have enough to continue to operate for a while is important. Alongside the finances, you will have to take a long, hard look at any legal agreement – it’s worth running this by an experienced solicitor before you sign on the dotted line.

Ask Plenty of Questions

One thing you should not be forgetting is to ask all the questions you can. Not only that, make sure that you get answers that satisfy you. Franchisors should be happy to sit down with you and go through all the issues in great detail. If they aren’t you should be more than a little wary. This approach includes getting to know existing franchisees and quizzing them about their experience and how they are doing.

The Pros and Cons of the Franchise

It would be highly unusual if there weren’t a list of good and bad points for any franchise. You rarely find a perfect fit. There are going to be some things that you like and other things that are not so appealing. Weighing these up is going to be critical in evaluating the potential of a particular franchise. If you are not sure, then giving yourself plenty of time to decide is important. Having a cool off period is essential whatever decision you make.

Evaluating a franchise opportunity should be a full and frank discovery of what the company is offering and how you fit into that environment. Get it right and you could soon be developing a strong and profitable relationship that will last for many years to come.