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Jun 25

7 Important Considerations to Make Before You Buy a Franchise

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Are you considering becoming an entrepreneur by purchasing a franchise? There are many benefits to franchise ownership when compared with starting your own brand from scratch. If you are completely new to business ownership, becoming a franchisee can be an ideal way to get started, since you’ll be provided with guidelines to follow and best practices to adhere to, that could help you get the experience you need to eventually start and run your own successful company.

Alongside guidance and support, franchisees can also benefit from owning a business that is a part of a well-known brand. In the UK, there are several businesses that sell locations to franchisees, and most are big household names like McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Vapestore, Wok&Go, PetPals, and Code Ninjas, to name a few. There are franchises available across the country in a wide range of different industries with something to suit everybody, whether you have always dreamed of starting your own restaurant or want to kick-start a career in law.

So, before you dive in and start getting the ball rolling to buy a franchise, what are some of the best steps to take to ensure that you are ready for the challenge and make the right decision regarding your future business?


Choosing the Right Franchise for You

Approach choosing a franchise to invest in just as you would when starting your own business from the ground up. You don’t want to end up buying a business and finding out that you hate it. Consider your interests, hobbies, and passions and find a franchise opportunity that aligns with those. You can browse a wide range of franchise UK options at Franchise Local, a site that allows you to explore the various franchise opportunities on offer around the UK based on the investment amount, industry, popularity and more. Check out franchises for sale and find out more about the company to determine whether or not it’s something you’d enjoy doing. Remember, running a franchise takes as much determination and hard work as starting your own business, so be sure to keep your passions at the forefront of your decisions.


Consider How and When You Want to Work

As a franchisee, you’re able to decide how and when you want to work – but this might also be determined by the kind of business you take on. If you only want to work Monday to Friday, 9-5, or want a business that you can run online from the comfort of your own home, a retail or restaurant franchise might not be the best option for you. There is every working possibility available when it comes to choosing a franchise; take some time to search through businesses for sale and figure out which ones are ideal for your work requirements. For example, you might want to start a business as an online tutor with Tutortoo, or an online travel resource site with What’s On, where you won’t be required to work in a physical location.


How Much Do You Want to Invest?

The amount of funding that you’ll be required to invest initially to get your franchise startup off the ground will depend on the company that you’ve chosen to buy a business from. Some franchises can be started for less than £1,000, while others will require you to put down a more substantial amount of money. It’s important to have a clear budget in mind regarding not only how much you are willing to spend on the initial franchise fee, but also how much you want to spend on an ongoing basis. Bear in mind that paying a franchise fee isn’t usually a one-and-done thing, and there will be ongoing costs and fees for marketing, staff training, product promotions, store upgrades and anything else that you may be required to do as a franchisee.


Is There a Demand?

Before you choose a franchise business to buy, ask yourself, is there a demand for this service in my area? For example, there might be no point in investing in a McDonald’s franchise if there are already five of them in your town. On the other hand, if pet sitters are in high demand in your area and there’s not enough of them to go around, you might be very successful starting a franchise with The Pet Sitting Company. It’s worth doing your research in your local area, speaking to some of your neighbours and other local people, and asking them which kind of businesses they would like to see more of in the town. Remember that even if there’s a gap in the market, that doesn’t always necessarily mean that the business will be in demand – so even if you’ve seen a clear opportunity for a business that your town doesn’t yet have, it’s always worth getting out and speaking to your potential customers to find out if it’s actually something that they would want.


Is It the Right Fit for You?

As a franchisee, you will have a large element of control over your own business, but bear in mind that not every decision will be down to you, and at times you might feel more like you are an employee rather than a business owner. You will need to commit to following strict brand guidelines as a franchisee and upholding the good reputation of the franchise at all times. If being able to make decisions about things like your logo, brand colours, the products you sell or the uniform that your staff wear for work are really important for you, it might be worth reconsidering your decision to invest in a franchise or look into buying a franchise business that allows you a greater element of control over these factors.


Speak to Other Franchisees

Of course, every franchise company wants more and more people to come and invest in their businesses; it’s extra growth for its brand, ultimately. But this usually means that if the only person you’re speaking to about getting a franchise is the franchisor, of course, you’re going to be hearing all about the great side of things and less about the bad. To get a more balanced view of what owning a franchise is like with a certain company, it’s worth trying to get in touch with some current franchise owners and having a chat. Usually, any good franchise company will understand your need to do your research and will be happy to provide you with contact details of current franchisors with their permission. Don’t be afraid to go in-depth when asking them questions about their experiences so far, and whether or not they would do it again if they had the chance.


Consider Working for the Franchise

If you are still on the fence, consider applying to work as an employee for the company that you are interested in buying a franchise from. In fact, some franchisors are so committed to getting dedicated franchisees who understand the business, that they will only allow you to purchase a franchise from them after you have worked there for a certain amount of time. This will give you the opportunity to really get to know the company, find out more about the culture, and decide if it’s a business you can see yourself investing in.

Buying a franchise is a great way to become a business owner and a part of a well-known, successful brand. But before you take the plunge, do your research and take these important factors into consideration.


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.


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