As you narrow down your top franchise choices and decide which one is right for you when buying a franchise, now is the time to embrace the notion of “hold that thought.”
At this point, you may be leaning toward two or three franchises for pragmatic reasons. And another two or three may have captured your imagination for reasons you cannot quite explain. That’s nothing to feel embarrassed about; buying a franchise should be one of the most exhilarating times of your life, unleashing feelings of anticipation and excitement.
Still, hold that thought — hold that “preferred” list — so that you can bring some order to your decision process. You can accomplish this feat with ease when you:
- Embark on a self-inventory
- Hone in on your preferred franchises
- Compare your self-inventory to your preferred list
Embark on a Self-Inventory
Just as you might have taken an “interest inventory” to narrow down your choices of a suitable degree path in college, now is the time to subject yourself to an honest interest inventory of a suitable franchise path.
First, take stock of your skills, talents, and interests. In particular, it’s vital to assess whether you can see yourself managing and motivating people on a regular basis. Your role in a franchise opportunity should begin to take shape.
- Do you view a franchise as a hobby — a constructive way to spend time and make a little money — or as a primary source of income?
- Would you be happy with one franchise or does the thought of owning several appeal to you?
- Do you thrive with hands-on or behind-the-scenes work?
- How many hours per week do you plan to invest in a franchise?
- How much money do you have available to invest in a franchise?
- Do you feel comfortable with your financing options — or have you at least secured the services of a trusted adviser?
- What is your exit strategy? In other words, do you want to own a franchise for five years, 10 years or longer? Do you hope to pass it down to an heir?
Hone in on Your Preferred Franchises
A clearer picture of the franchises should take shape after you:
- Request ownership information from the franchises. You should find valuable information on the company website. Be sure to view videos and request brochures and — crucially — write down any questions you might have as you parse this information.
- Call franchise owners. They should be happy to talk with potential franchise owners to share their experiences and give them a behind-the-scenes look at the company and how it supports franchise owners. Make the most of the learning experience by asking franchise owners what they would have done differently as they proceeded down the path to franchise ownership.
- Visit a few franchises. Observe the operation and ask relevant questions, even of obliging customers.
Compare Your Self-Inventory to Your Preferred List
Once you secure a franchise disclosure document — commonly known as an FDD — the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you review it carefully for the following information:
- What is the franchisor’s background? Review the history and management team in particular.
- What is the initial franchise fee?
- What are the rules and restrictions?
- What is the reported revenue of the average franchisee?
- What type of support will you receive in the form of training, marketing, advertising and mentoring?
Take One Last Look Before Buying a Franchise
As you formulate a final decision, the right franchise should:
- Complement your strengths, interests, and lifestyle
- Match your financial resources
- Assist you on your franchise journey
- Showcase a proud history — and one that you can build upon
If you haven’t already, you’ll soon find out why Great American Cookies rises to the top of the list of many potential franchisees. Between our storied history, our creative product line and the vital support we offer franchisee owners, you can move from “hold that thought” to “let’s get started” with confidence and enthusiasm. To find out more about buying a franchise, visit our website today!