To help those looking to invest in a franchise opportunity, BCR Associates has revealed six of its top tips for new franchise owners.

BCR Associates, which provides a profit improvement service to businesses, has established a UK network of franchise owners. Phil Gaffer, Franchise Recruitment Manager at BCR Associates, said: “Investing in buying a franchise represents a major life changing decision and is certainly not one to be taken lightly. Just as you wouldn’t dream of buying a house without a lot of careful consideration and research, you should also apply the same degree of prudence to purchasing a new business.

“Following recent franchise trade show activity, there are likely to be many people currently out there contemplating a move into franchising. As a responsible franchisor, we always advise any of our prospects to ensure they undertake the relevant due diligence before committing to the investment. There are some unscrupulous franchisors out there who are merely focused on making a sale, when of course the priority should be on recruiting the right franchise owner to ensure the future growth and development of the business – and of course to safeguard the priceless reputation of the brand. Any prospect who finds themself being propelled towards a sale which they are not entirely comfortable with, should immediately question the integrity of the franchisor.

“Part of the journey towards becoming a franchise owner will involve some serious soul searching as well as in-depth investigation on the company concerned. At BCR Associates we always encourage our prospects to bear in mind some key essential first time franchise owner tips.”

BCR Associates tips for first time franchise owners:

  • Always check to see if a franchisor is a member of the British Franchise Association (bfa) – if not you need to ask the question why? Membership of the bfa will provide reassurance of the company’s commitment to ethical, professional franchising. Franchisors that are accredited members of the bfa have been proven to follow certain systems and procedures conducive to ethical franchising and as such enjoy enhanced credibility as a responsible player in the competitive franchise industry
  • Look at your personal skill set / experience / interests and seek out synergy between these and your chosen franchise. If you are going to succeed as a franchisee you need to be passionate about your final choice of business
  • Check that the earning potential of the franchise matches your expectations / aspirations – some franchises like ours will offer you the opportunity to ‘road test’ the concept before finally committing to a purchase
  • Ask yourself if the business is operating in a sustainable market and does the franchise model offer you a direct route to market which you would not be able to achieve on your own, i.e. is there a unique USP for you to trade on? Competition is all well and good but you need to have a strong selling point to open negotiations with potential customers
  • Can you genuinely afford the investment? When starting a business you need to take into consideration not just the cost of the franchise but also factor in ‘living costs’ for the initial start up period. Ask to see projected income figures as well as figures of existing franchise owners to help define just how much money you will need to set aside
  • Do you feel comfortable with the franchisor’s support team? It is imperative that you are able to strike up a rapport with the contacts at head office who should be there to guide you through the important launch stage and beyond

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