Franchises offer cost-effective, turnkey solutions for all those looking to create their own dream job and work for themselves. Plus, research shows that franchises generally enjoy a far higher rate of success than independent start-ups, which can be accredited to their tried and tested business models, expert support systems and brand power.
So, what is a franchise, or how does it work? Put simply, a franchise is a business in which a franchisee pays an initial fee and ongoing royalties to a franchisor. In return, the franchisee gains the use of an established trademark, ongoing marketing, continued support from the franchisor, and the right to use the franchisor’s systems of doing business to sell its products or services.
In other words, franchises offer the best of both worlds, providing the opportunity to run your own business while benefiting from the expertise of dedicated franchise management specialists. But before you invest your life savings into a franchise, it’s important to do your homework and know what to expect. Here’s an expert guide to buying a franchise in five simple steps:
- Do your homework: The first step towards becoming a franchise owner is to conduct some preliminary research and decide which franchise system you would like to be a part of. Next, analyse your geographic area to see if there is a market for that type of business and whether it could be a good fit.
- Contact the franchisor: Once you are satisfied that there is a market opportunity in your chosen area, contact the franchisor and ask them for more information on available franchise opportunities in that field.
- Carefully analyse the disclosure document: Your franchisor should next supply you with a disclosure document providing an overview of how the business is managed, how it operates and what expectations would fall on you as a franchisee. A disclosure document is a regulatory document describing a franchise opportunity that prospective franchisees must receive before they pay any money, sign any papers or, in some cases, even meet with the franchisor.
- Interrogate prospective opportunities: If there is a specific franchise brand that you are interested in, do some further investigation into the company. This could include a news search on Google to find out more about the company’s history and how it is viewed in media, or the type of governance that may be in place.
You should also examine:
- The franchise agreement
- Earnings-claim statements or a sample unit income (profit-and-loss) statement
- Trade-area surveys
5. Consider the financials: Finally, seek to understand exactly what your upfront costs as a franchisee would be, as well as how well other franchises within the network are performing. If you need additional capital, you will then need to approach a bank or other lending facility with your research and business case in hand. Banks and lending facilities usually view franchise businesses favourably and are generally open to funding them.
As an investment, franchises represent an extremely attractive option for discerning entrepreneurs and investors. When franchisees partner with a franchisor, they should know what to expect and feel confident that they have access to support systems from a team of franchise experts.
That’s why The Franchise Co. is a partner of choice, with a strong reputation as South Africa’s leading franchise management specialists. We offer franchisees the opportunity to invest in some of the country’s most successful and beloved fast-food, restaurant, medical and hospitality brands: Sausage Saloon, Blacksteer, Yummy Fish and Chips, ChesaNyama, Mike’s Kitchen, Nyamalicious, Yami Rib & Burger, Yami Pizza, Zebro’s, Medirent, PeekABoo, Eximia Belle and Sleepover Motels. Get in touch today to find out more about these exciting opportunities!