Prospective franchisees might be interested in the free advice on buying a franchise that MSN recently offered up.
The leading website recently examined the franchise market in its Business On Main column. The story features an explanation of how franchising works, but most interestingly, journalist Toddi Gunter has spoken with a number of franchisees to find out exactly how they went about buying a franchise. Since this is one of more intensive and intimidating aspects of starting a franchise, I thought it would be an excellent thing to pass on.
Jeff Bolen of DoodyCalls provided the following story, which provides a great lesson in how intensive it can be to purchase a franchise.
“It turns out I had read an article about a guy who found money in dog poop. So I submitted an online inquiry to DoodyCalls, a pet waste removal service, and one of their competitors. DoodyCalls responded the next day with a brief [telephone] conversation to gauge my interest. A more informative phone call followed. Then they e-mailed me an application with questions like, Why do you see yourself as a good owner? How can you make it succeed? Do you think it will happen overnight?
“There were about five phone calls over a month and a half; each gave me more insight into the company. They were filtering out those who wouldn’t be a good fit — there were two candidates [in my area]. I think they base their selection on what your past work ethic is and what you’ve been able to do in business, though not necessarily in the pet industry.
This is a hugely helpful article for anyone truly curious about what it takes to buy a franchise. To conclude, they offer the following bits of advice:
- Research and explore all opportunities, including competitors
- Be patient and expect to invest time and money. It is an established brand, but you are not buying a customer base.
- Have an open mind and know what to expect. You are the cog in the wheel that has to make it go.
- Go with the franchisor that makes you feel best.