Many prospective Franchisees are aware of the much quoted mantra to “take independent legal advice” and many do take advice and embark on their franchise journey...
As with any great dish the best franchise businesses require quality ingredients; a sustainable business concept led by a management team committed to recruiting the best candidates and providing them with proper training and ongoing support. With these key elements in place, a Franchisor can create a strong and mutually profitable network of Franchisees, all operating the same business system under a strong, recognisable brand name.
Evaluate the franchise opportunity
The decision to buy a franchise is likely to be one of the largest financial commitments a prospective Franchisee will ever make. A prospective Franchisee must carefully evaluate every franchise opportunity to ensure that the ingredients for success are present. Searching questions should be asked about the business credentials and experience of the individuals running the Franchise. If they have been involved in business failures in the past, a warning bell should ring about whether or not they have the skills to lead a successful franchise network.
The business concept being franchised must be examined to assess whether it is sustainable or an idea with a brief ‘shelf life’ or restricted customer base. Prospective Franchisees should take the time to consider objectively if there is a real demand for the goods and/or services being offered by the franchise and whether that demand is likely to increase. Distractions such as glossy brochures, websites, and other promotional material circulated by ‘wanabee’ Franchisors should be ignored. The Franchisee must ensure that the franchise business they select has the ability to operate profitably and care must be taken not to confuse promises of high turnover figures, with actual profits.
The Franchisor’s recruitment process should provide the prospective Franchisee with the opportunity to gain a full understanding of the business concept and to ensure that only prospective Franchisees with suitable qualifications and aptitude, are selected. Franchisors interested in Franchisees simply because of their ability to pay the required fees are best avoided. A good Franchisor will regard the recruitment process as an opportunity to select Franchisees with the skills required to succeed in the franchise business and will be prepared to reject candidates who do not meet their particular recruitment criteria.
The Best Franchisors are not selling franchises, but recruiting individuals as franchisees, who can make a positive long-term commitment to the network.
Once a Franchisee has been selected the training programme should provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to commence their business successfully. In addition, there should be a programme of further training and ongoing support to ensure that Franchisees add to their skills as the business continues.
Best franchise practice
Experience has shown that if these ingredients exist, a Franchisee has a better chance of success than starting up a business on their own. There are many examples of good franchise practice in the UK where Franchisors consistently demonstrate an ability to recruit, train and support Franchisees, who can operate a business with a proven track record, offering services and goods for which there is a genuine market, under a brand name that is protected and adds value to the franchise.
A list of ingredients required for franchise success should include:-
- A sustainable and proven business concept
- A strong brand identity owned or licensed by the Franchisor
- Franchisor management with strong business credentials and ability
- A recruitment process that ensures that each party has the opportunity to evaluate the other without pressurised sales techniques
- Training that ensures Franchisees begin operating their business armed with the key skills and knowledge required for their particular industry
- Further training to enable Franchisees to develop their skills and knowledge as their business grows
- A Franchisor committed to providing a structured programme of ongoing support, help and advice and a desire to develop the franchise business
- A franchise business with a sound financial rationale, where both Franchisor and Franchisee can operate profitably.
Franchising excellence is a standard to which all companies committed to ethical franchising practice should aspire. The precise method of achieving excellence may vary from business to business, but the main ingredients of success are common to all successful franchise networks, whether newly established, or those who have been trading for many years.
If you believe that franchising may offer you the right format to get into business, make sure that you select a Franchisor who offers the right ingredients.
Our advice to prospective franchisees
- For advice on purchasing your franchise we would suggest you to visit the bfa (British Franchise Association) website for a list of their members. Bfa members have had their business model scrutinised and are deemed to run an ethical and sustainable business model.
- We would also recommend you use our Franchisee Agreement Review Service to ensure the contract you are about to sign is legal and in your favour.
- We would recommend you read some of our other blog posts on the subject including:
- Should you encounter any issues during your time as a franchisee we also offer a Franchise Disputes Service where we are able to represent franchisees or groups of franchisees against their franchisor.