Is franchising right for you?

The economic climate has resulted in large numbers of individuals who have enjoyed highly rewarding careers and who are not going to get another job for some time. As a result, many of them may be considering alternatives to corporate life. Starting a business from scratch can be daunting, but the option of a business services franchise can be a very realistic alternative.

Former corporate executives can be highly successful franchise owners provided franchisors employ effective strategies for supporting them - and therefore teaming up with the right franchisor to go into business with is the key.

Here are some key things to look for when you are deciding who you want to spend the next 10 years in business with:

What exactly will I be doing every day?
Ask the franchisor to explain the full reality of what you will be doing on a daily basis and how your time will be spent, not just the most appealing aspects that initially attracted you to the concept.

How will I be managed?
Usually corporate executives perform best when a relationship is not overly-controlling. Get the franchisor to explain where you will have autonomy and where you will have to follow the franchise system's obligations. Be sure you understand the true value of investing in a franchise versus an independent venture.

Establish the support system
Executives who were previously well-supported with staff may find it tough when they experience life as a business owner who has to be more self-reliant. If you aren't good with administrative tasks such as sending out information packs or changing printer cartridges, you may need additional resources to help you.

Additionally, find out exactly what support will be provided for you after you launch your franchise business.

Can I build a relationship with these people as my business partners?
How does the franchisor communicate with you during the process? Do they use the kind of language you are comfortable with? Do they listen to you and take time to address your concerns? How do they respond to any challenges or suggestions you may put to them?

Check it out!
All franchisors should be delighted for you to talk to any of their existing franchise owners - so make the most of it and confirm what the franchisor has told you.

Enjoy the rewards!
With the right franchise partner, corporate executives can make extremely successful franchise owners - do your homework, choose your partner well and enjoy the rewards!

Written by Jo Clarkson, Operations Director, The Alternative Board.