What you need to know before you start a franchise
by Max Fawcett
Maybe you’re considering buying a franchise because it seems like a good investment.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to work for yourself. Or maybe you’re just really, really bored with working in a cubicle. Either way, you’re looking to become a franchisee. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
Lorraine McLachlan, the president and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association, says that successful franchisees have a few things in common. “As a prospective franchisee, you have to look at a number of things,” she says. “The first thing we recommend is that you look into businesses that you’re interested in. If you don’t like animals, don’t go into a pet grooming franchise. If you don’t know that you’re cut out to run a restaurant, then don’t look that way. Don’t be brand dazzled; find something that’s really going to resonate with you.”
And if you don’t like the food service industry, well, you’re in luck. There are plenty of other options out there for you. The key, McLachlan says, is keeping an open mind and exploring everything that you can. “If you’re interested in an education franchise, explore all of them, and make sure you understand what’s available,” she says. “But be open to other thoughts at the same time. A lot of people, when they think of franchises, they think of fast food. But food and food services represent only 40 per cent of the brands in the CFA’s membership. So the scope of opportunity and possibility is just enormous. “
Stuck for ideas? Visit the Canadian Franchise Association’s website or www.lookforafranchise.ca, a website that it created that has a directory of franchises along with links to articles on franchising and a series of tutorials on how to do it right.