Operating a franchise unit is a considerable logistical undertaking, and potential franchise owners need to be prepared for a wide variety of different challenges and outcomes that they will likely come across.
Do my operational capabilities match with the requirements of the franchise?
Every franchisee and franchise company is unique. Some people want to own a business that they can operate in a largely hands-off capacity while they tend to their other responsibilities, be they professional or personal. With some franchises this is easy, but there are many others that require more active involvement from the owner in order to be optimally successful.
Before committing so much of your time, money, and energy to operating a franchise, you have to know if it will be possible to achieve your specific goals within the ecosystem of that company.
What will my operating budget most likely look like?
Scrutinizing the books of a franchise unit will usually tell you more about its operational realities than any other activity. Parsing through the budget will show you exactly where, when, and how franchise owners just like yourself are spending money in order to keep things rolling. Before you pull the trigger, ask the franchise representative for concrete examples so that you will have an idea of your expected cost structure, and can prepare for the specific challenges of doing business.
What is the average length of time between signing the agreement and opening a location?
What kind of logistics are involved in opening a unit of this franchise, and how long does the process typically take? Many residential service franchises can be off the ground and running with nothing more than a few branded materials and a single employee. On the other end of the spectrum, some complex retail businesses require hiring a full staff, choosing a site location, construction, training, etc. before they can even open the doors.
What are the most common operational issues that franchise owners face?
Setbacks are going to occur when you operate a franchise; there’s no way around it. The factors that will ultimately influence your success or failure as an owner will be the kinds of issues that plague you most frequently, and how well-equipped you are to respond to them. For instance, if equipment breakdowns frequently require professional service, it will significantly alter how you budget for emergency maintenance.
What is this franchise’s core operating value proposition?
In other words, how does this franchise actually make money? What is the central value that it provides to its customers? Is it convenience, outstanding customer service, or proficiency in a specialized skill? Before opening your business, you have to have a concrete idea of what will keep your customers coming back so that you can emphasize this value throughout your operational strategy.
What do I need to know about human resources management?
If your franchise employs even a single person, employee relations is going to be a significant part of your operations. Human resource management is a vast field filled with many different subject areas, and you can’t possibly be expected to become an expert before you sign your franchise agreement. However, it’s wise to get an idea of the major human resources issues that you will be dealing with, including salary/benefit structure, legal concerns, union membership, and corporate HR assistance.
What’s the day-to-day experience of working in a franchise location like?
If you want the real experience of operating the franchise unit, walk a mile in another owner’s shoes; or at least shadow them for a few days while they complete their tasks. Ask your franchise representative if there are opportunities to observe other franchise owners and managers as they go about their day-to-day responsibilities.
If you’re considering a franchise investment or just have questions, feel free to contact one of our franchise specialists to learn more about the process and all the different franchise opportunities by completing our request form or calling 1-877-650-5551.