Prospective franchisees will use different methods and media to seek out the right opportunities when it comes to finding a franchise. All have their place and all offer different benefits. Magazines both online and offline are useful because they allow you to look at a cross section of franchises, in your own time, with no disturbances. Additionally, magazines such as Business Franchise provide independent editorial with plenty of hints, tips and advice – invaluable tools when considering the world of franchising which can, to the uninitiated, appear a potential labyrinth of information. Take a look at www.franchisedirect.co.uk to see the different types and costs of franchises that are available including re-sales.
Exhibitions provide another means of learning about different franchises but with the added benefit of being able to talk to a number of franchisors under one roof. These events offer the ultimate opportunity to collect a lot of information across the spectrum of franchises in a relatively short space of time. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get around and speak to the Franchisors that are of interest to you. These Exhibitions are held in London, Birmingham and Manchester at different times of the year.
To maximise the value of going to an exhibition you should do some pre-planning. Gathering information is all well and good but better to gather more information about franchises that might suit you. So before you go set some basic parameters – list the type of business you think you would enjoy, for example outdoor, retail or business-to-business (B2B) franchises. Then set a budget and think about what you can realistically afford – remember not to overstretch yourself. Just by doing these two simple things you will have narrowed the field down and given yourself more time to spend with companies that at least meet your initial criteria.
The BFA website is a very useful and popular point of reference and, as well as giving you lots of information on each member franchise, it has the incalculable advantage of featuring only BFA members. So, anyone looking for a franchise knows that every franchisor on the BFA website is accredited and approved. There are also a number of Franchises who are not members of the BFA so do not discount them because of that, just do your due diligence.
Discovery days also offer a number of benefits to prospective franchisees:
• Getting to spend some time with the franchisor
• Meeting with existing franchisees
• The opportunity to ask questions and hear answers to those others may have
• No commitment and you can be as anonymous or as direct as you wish
Decide why you are going and what you want to get out of the day – simply going along to get more information won’t be enough.
You will certainly have the opportunity to question the franchisor and most likely existing franchisees – so prepare a set of questions that you need the answers to. Ask questions that will reveal the scope, success, opportunity, income & profitability and challenges of the business. Who are their main competitors.
Some questions to ask the franchisor that should include:
How long has the business been established.
Profitability – ask for copies of the last three years accounts and check them out at Companies House
Knowledge – question the market and the latest trends.
Success – how long has the franchise been in business and is it successful?
Support – ask to see detailed franchisee support plans. Examine the company infostructure and
organisation, look at and note improvements made to its systems (or not).
Does it have the right manpower and intellect in each key business area and what are their expansion plans
How many re-sales have they had
Chemistry – do you like the franchisor and head office team? Ask to speak to some of their franchisees after this meeting
Check out their competition and do some research on them