These clever tips can help got your franchise business off the ground

By Jennifer Landis

People dream about owning their own business all the time. There are endless success stories to read about and listen to. Someone gets an idea, researches how to start a business and experiences nearly overnight success because their product or service is so popular.

Success stories are inspiring, but they aren’t a reality for everyone. Starting your own business is difficult because its success depends entirely on you. That’s why many people open a franchise as their first business.

When you open a franchise, you have the franchisor to go to for advice and help. They’ve already gained the name-brand notoriety and customer trust that a business needs to succeed. All you do is open another location under their business.

It’s a safe way to explore the world of business ownership, but you may need more help. Read on to learn tips that will help you get your franchise business off the ground. Once you know what to expect, success is within your reach.

Pick the right franchise

The fastest way to fail with a franchise is to open something you aren’t passionate about or don’t enjoy. Even with all the help you’ll get to open your franchise, you need to love what you do in order for it to succeed.

Do some research on local franchises already for sale in your area. Major brand names you might see are McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell and the UPS Store.

Think about where you’ll open your franchise after you’ve made a list of the names you’re passionate about. Is there a growing demographic to support your business or is there a franchise like it nearby that will take your customers?

Consider who lives in the area you’ll start your franchise. Communities that are full of families with young kids may need a franchise that sells playgrounds. Fast-growing cities like Indianapolis grew nearly five percent in the last decade, leading to more families and fewer outdoor spaces for kids to play.

Opening a franchise means you need to consider your future customers’ needs, like kids needing a safe space to play outside. Try not to open another branch of a franchise that already has multiple locations in your area so you have fewer competitors to worry about.

Consider your finances

Anyone looking into starting a business knows it takes a lot of money to open a franchise. On average, the initial fees and costs of a franchise range between $20-50,000, although the costs can climb even higher.

While some people spend their lives saving enough money to open their dream business, there are financial assistance opportunities for those who need it. Research how you can get a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS). It allows you to pull money from your retirement account for your business without charging fees or taxes. There’s no interest or loan attached to the money, since it’s yours.

You can also get an SBA loan, which is given by the government to cover startup costs for franchises. They usually have low interest rates, but it might be hard to get approval for funding if your franchise brand hasn’t received an SBA loan before.

There’s also the traditional business bank loan. This is the riskiest option since banks are known to turn down financial help applications required by startups because of the risks involved. However, you can increase your odds of getting a loan by compiling an extensive business plan and presenting it to your bank.

Look over your franchise agreement

Once you know what kind of franchise you want to open and line up your finances, you’ll receive a franchise agreement from your franchisor. It’s an extensive contract that covers many details of owning your franchise, so look over it with an attorney to read through and evaluate what it contains.

It will explain critical aspects of your future business, such as:

-The boundaries for your franchise

-How long you’re under contract

-What you’ll need to pay to open

-Rules regarding business operation

-Your business owner rights

-Terminal policies

It’s never a good idea to sign a contract that you only glanced over or don’t fully understand. Work with a professional, like an attorney, to decide if the contract is right for you or if you should partner with a different franchise.

Attend training classes

After you’ve signed your franchise agreement, you’re still not ready to break ground on your franchise. First, you’ll most likely attend required training classes provided by the franchisor. These will teach you exactly what you need to know about what you’ll sell to or provide for your customers. You’ll also learn about supplier negotiations, marketing strategies, how to hire and manage employees and more about bookkeeping and permits.

The typical length of the training classes is one to two weeks. You’ll spend time with educational materials and instructors before working with your franchise’s equipment with whoever trains you.

Market your grand opening

One of the last things you’ll need to do before you officially open is market your business. Let your community know when you open and what your business will offer. Marketing guidelines are usually lined out by your franchisor, so consult them and your franchise agreement before conducting any marketing on your own.

You may market your franchise through TV or radio ads, direct mail campaigns and online marketing. In terms of online advertisement, remember that an expert SEO agency for franchises can help you develop your online presence in a way that will greatly increase your visibility from the get-go. Marketing is how you’ll reach your audience, so much of your success will be based on how many people your initial efforts reach.

Connect with other franchise owners

After your training, you may feel like you still don’t know what you’re doing. Connect with other business owners within your franchise. Talk about their strategies and form business relationships. Build a community around your business and your franchise will see the success you desire.


Jennifer Landis is a healthy living blogger, mother, wife, distance runner, yogi, and tea connoisseur. She writes about mindfulness and self-care on her blog, Mindfulness Mama. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

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