Franchise opportunities are an excellent way to start down the path to entrepreneurship, but it’s important to find the right fit. With so many opportunities to choose from, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying into a business that can work for you. Not every franchise fits every entrepreneur. Franchisors know this, so be prepared for reputable franchise owners to be scrutinizing you just as closely as you are them. When you think you’ve found the one for you, take a step back and measure the opportunity against these four signs that you’ve found the right match for you.
Your Passions Align
While buying into a franchise does prevent you from starting your business completely from scratch, you’ll still need to put in a lot of effort. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you’re passionate about what you’re offering, be it clean carpets or made-to-order sandwiches. A franchise that lets you sell a product or service that matters to you will hold your interest much better than a business started for its own sake. Think about your skills as well as your passions. You’ll need to have or be willing to learn the skills necessary to provide certain services.
The Numbers Work
Different franchises come with different price tags, so make sure yours is comfortable for you. While some franchises will let you get started with as little as $25,000, others charge half a million dollars to get the ball rolling. As one example, you can start a commercial cleaning franchise for somewhere between $108,000 and $184,000. Know how much you can afford to invest in your venture and then stick to that budget. Entrepreneurship can become a shackle rather than providing freedom if you take on too much debt for too long. Your business needs to work for you rather than you working a second job to pay for it.
There is Good Juju
While it’s true that juju and mojo can’t be measured scientifically, your gut will tell you whether or not they are present. As a franchisee, your business is going to be relying on franchise headquarters for advertising, signage, supplies and support. Reputation will also matter. In this instance, your business can only be as good as the one backing it.
Work with people who you feel good about and who emit a trustworthy, supportive vibe. Never ignore your instincts if you have a bad feeling about an opportunity. Hitching your wagon to the wrong franchise and trying to function without their support is a long and difficult road.
The Flexibility Fits
Part of a franchise’s appeal is that they provide a roadmap outlining a well-traveled path. You are given a plan and the tools you need to execute it and, in most cases, can expect to be as successful as those who came before you. Sometimes, however, the entrepreneurial spirit comes with a need to blaze new trails and explore uncharted territory. Franchises all come with a set of rules, but some are more flexible than others. Be sure you understand what limitations the franchise does and does not place on your business and be honest with yourself about whether or not you can function within those guidelines.
If you find a franchise opportunity that you can afford, which fuels your passion and gives you the perfect amount of flexibility and support, you’ve found your holy grail of franchising. If an opportunity meets all four of these criteria you can move forward with confidence knowing you’re pursuing the best opportunity for you. If it doesn’t meet all four of these criteria, take a hard look at your options. You may still be able to make an opportunity work for you but weigh the pros and cons carefully before compromising on such an important decision.