Make the Move
With over twenty years in franchising, friends and acquaintances often ask questions about franchises. Sometimes they are generally curious about how it works, often they are motivated by an interest in learning more about owning one. I have divided the top questions asked, and some that should be asked, into five segments in creating this blog. This is the fifth and final segment of the group.
Part 5 of 5: Make the Move
Getting the Doors Open
So you have researched, dreamed, planned and talked it over with your loved ones. Now it is time to move forward and actually open the doors to your new business. The first steps towards your big opening are to secure your finances, attend any training offered, find a suitable location, and hire employees. If you have a specific date in mind for your grand opening, you will need a timeline to ensure everything is done well in advance.
Your finances should be pretty much in order by this point. All of your accounts should be open, and the next focus should be training. You should get as much training as possible to create a solid foundation for your business. A word of caution: make sure your training isn’t too far in advance of your opening date; otherwise, you may forget some aspects of the training. Putting your education into immediate action will make more sense because there is nothing like on-the-job training. Furthermore, with a great franchise, training will be a constant evolution as new strategies and trends emerge. Some franchisors are so thorough and forward-thinking that they can detect marketplace shifts and offer advance training to anticipate those changes and target more than just one audience.
Locating a Location
If you don’t have one, you may want to hire a good lease attorney or a commercial real estate broker. Most franchisors have real estate teams available to support you with site location, but the level of that support varies from one franchise system to another. Some real estate teams will not only help with site location, but they also provide information on specific customer demographics; while others will simply approve your location and take a very hands-off approach.
Do not underestimate the importance of site visibility, traffic flow, entrance access (from both sides of the street), and convenience to the attainment of your business. Many franchises – regardless of how strong the business model was – failed because getting to the location was not feasible for potential customers.
Talk With Other Franchisees
The best advice comes from those who have been through the experience and who are current franchisees. Talking with an existing franchisee will provide more information than any website or marketing presentation. Franchisees can answer most of your questions, from support and training to fresh marketing ideas. Just be cognizant of their own interests. Some franchisees may see you as competition or, alternately, a contributor to the regional ad fund and so their answers may be slightly skewed. You still want to talk with as many franchisees as possible to get an overall feel for the day-to-day life as an owner of that particular franchise.
On Your Way
The most wonderful thing about owning a franchise is that you are never alone. You are participating in something larger than yourself and growing your business and personal success with other like-minded business owners.
You might be on your way but not on your own.
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So…get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
About the Blog Author
With over 25 years of franchise experience, Tiffany Dodson, CFE holds deep roots from senior marketing roles at well-known international franchises to recognition as a top performing franchisee, Master Developer, author, and speaker. Find Tiffany at The Salt Suite and reach her via Tiffany@TheSaltSuite.com.Back