In this exclusive article for whichfranchise.com, Edward Mauleverer, of Edâ€™s Garden Maintenance , has the following to say regarding important things to consider when choosing which the right franchise for you.
â€œThe Franchise business has really taken off in the UK in recent years and there is a vast range of franchise offers available. Joining a franchise is not a decision that should be taken lightly – people invest considerable sums of money and enter contracts that are typically around five yearsâ€™ duration. It is very important that investors approach their decision-making in a thorough way â€“ they are much more likely to be happy and successful in the long run.
There is clearly a whole range of things to consider when buying a franchise. However, the following considerations are of critical importance and should always be taken into account when making such an important decision about your future:-
1) Remember the service thatâ€™s at the core of the business. Donâ€™t be seduced purely by the earnings potential. Clearly, the financials are important but equally as important is the fact that you will be delivering the service of the business you are investing in day in day out and it is very likely that you will be more successful doing something you enjoy. Many of our franchisees come to us because they either love gardening or a healthy outdoors lifestyle and they rarely change their views on this. Donâ€™t make the mistake of signing up for something that you wonâ€™t enjoy .
2) Do your homework and shop around . Donâ€™t make the mistake of thinking that all franchises are the same. They are all very different – from their fee structure right through to the culture of the specific business. Make sure you take enough time to understand all of this. At Edâ€™s we actively encourage potential franchisees to look at other franchises – we would much rather be selected for compatibility reasons than to just be the first franchise option someone stumbled on.
3) Take your time to find out about other franchisees in the business , not only about how much money they earn but how they feel about what they are doing, the key challenges they faced etc. Find out how many of them sign for a second term. It is true that franchisees are very busy running their own businesses and canâ€™t be spending all their time meeting potential franchisees. However, it is very valuable to be able to speak to established franchisees to help you to make your decision – after all, they were in your shoes not that long ago. You shouldnâ€™t feel embarrassed to ask for this access. At Edâ€™s we actively encourage prospective franchisees to go out with established franchisees and they have carte blanche to ask whatever they like. This gives a great insight into what itâ€™s all about without any â€˜hard sellâ€™ tactics. We would much rather people signed up with their eyes open wide.
4) Try to see beyond the marketing of a franchise and understand how supportive franchisors really are. Try to get a good feel for the quality of the initial training. A good indicator of franchisor professionalism and their long-term commitment to the success and wellbeing of the franchisee, is their commitment to ongoing support and training. At Edâ€™s we do continuous business coaching and also invest a lot of time and money on ongoing training. In our view it is money very well spent.
5) Take your time to think things over properly once you have all the information you need. We actively discourage people from signing up impulsively and always send them away to think it over. A good franchisor will want you to have made an informed sensible decision to join, having reflected properly rather than making an on the spot decision. It is also a very good idea to take a partner or friend along when you go to meet the franchisor. It is invaluable to have someone to discuss the option with afterwards.
6) Take professional advice. Always get a legal professional to go through the contract before signing anything. Remember that the devil can be in the detail.
7) Finally, trust your gut instinct â€“ if something niggles and tells you that a particular option isnâ€™t right for you, then it probably isnâ€™t. The same applies to when an option feels right â€“ however even then, make sure you back your gut feeling up with solid research and side by side comparison!â€