What’s in a name?

Strong branding is one of a number of key elements to look for when choosing the right franchise opportunity for you

Acompany’s brand will probably be one of the most important factors when you are looking to invest in a franchise. You need to feel comfortable with the brand from many angles over a number of years and be proud to tell everyone that you own and operate it.

Should you invest in a well-established famous brand, many of the challenges, problems and mistakes faced by the business when it was first launched should now be eliminated.

However, if you opt to purchase a relatively new franchise, you must accept that you may find yourself working out future challenges and problems with your franchisors.

It is far easier to invest in a franchise that has already proven its ability to replicate success time after time. Saying that, being an early franchise investor can have its advantages, such as lower management service fees.

Look closely

The close link between the value of the brand and the franchise system that you will be operating needs to be examined very carefully.

It is fair to say that strong business models do add tremendous value to their brand, but the name alone can never be relied upon for success.

A number of franchise opportunities – such as those being offered by international franchisors entering the UK – may have worked perfectly in their own country, but the British model remains unproven.

While branding and name recognition are of great importance in any sector, they are even more important in the consumer business and certain globally renowned franchises have sometimes found it very difficult to succeed in the UK retail market.

Take your time

When you first come across a franchise that interests you, you should be immediately impressed with the branding, whether it is from the company’s website or its printed prospectus.

The average period for researching a franchisor and decision-making is four to six months. Therefore be prepared to not only take your time, but also try to evaluate as many franchise opportunities as possible in your sector of interest.

You should also carry out your own research to identify the real growth potential for the business. There are certain brands that you could consider to be ‘red hot’ right now, but such is the speed at which their expansion accelerates, their support infrastructure cannot cope, resulting in the company facing problems further along the line.

Another key to your future success is trying to find a franchisor that has engaged a professional team of advisors, including experienced franchise consultants, lawyers and support staff dedicated to helping the brand’s franchise owners to succeed.

A good franchisor will ensure that they have a team of franchise owners which are all adding value to the brand and system. This should become apparent when you are talking to existing franchise owners during your initial research. Ideally their background and profile should be similar to yours and be people you would like to be associated with.

Have your say

Remember that the current and existing value of the brand is and will remain an important factor, although this must dovetail into a powerful business model that you know can be easily replicated.

When considering which franchise to invest in, evaluate its franchise growth. In the 21st century, all businesses have to be continually re-invented. New products, new services and new lifestyle habits are driving forces, so that continual examination of the business model is essential to success.

To achieve this, franchisors continually invite their franchise network to submit new ideas for products and services so that they can achieve ever-increasing turnover and profits.

To receive the very best return on your investment, look for that brand which genuinely excites you and is likely to provide enthusiasm to succeed. This, coupled with your investment of time and money, should provide you with total satisfaction and knowledge that you own, operate and run a business that really ticks all your boxes.

Written by Professor Roy Seaman, CFE, QFP