After months and months of searching for that perfect franchise opportunity, you’ve finally found it. The One. The one that makes sense more than any of the other franchise opportunities you’ve looked into. The one that excites you. The one that “feels” right. But wait. It gets better.
Your family! Your family is even behind you. They're very supportive of you, and they like the franchise concept you’ve chosen to spend time investigating. Now the work begins.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
This is where progress happens. The research phase. The part of the franchise discovery process that matters the most. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the answers you’ve been seeking are going to be found. Answers you can’t control.
This road you’re on may be smooth…and pretty straight. Or, there could be some twists and turns. You won’t know until you start driving. Until you start reaching out to existing franchisees. Until you start asking all of the questions you have running around your head.
You’re excited to finally be on the road.
As you’re driving…as your learning more and getting more details about the franchise you’re super-interested in, you may find that during some parts of your journey you’re singing and tapping your fingers…you’re really enjoying the ride. You should be enjoying this ride. This experience. After all, you’re one of the lucky ones. Not everybody gets this opportunity. Some people don’t have a choice when it comes to their career-to their future. They’ll never have an opportunity to be their own boss.
Your entire drive may not be all happy, though. You may not feel grateful for what you can potentially do the entire time.
That’s because the franchise you're interested in won't be 100% perfect. There’s not a business in the world, not even a franchise business that’s without problems. Today’s small businesses are sometimes complicated and always imperfect. In addition, there are imperfect humans. Imperfect products and services…and the delivery of them. Stuff happens. But, still…
The Perfect Franchise
The franchise you find, research, and maybe even buy, could be perfect for you. It may be an opportunity with way more positives than negatives. Only one way to find out.
Do These 6 Things
1. Interview several franchisees via phone.
If possible, visit a couple of them in person.
2. Visit franchise headquarters.
Attend their “Discovery Day.” It’s your chance to meet the executive team and other employees who you’ll be interacting with…especially at first. If you like what you see, you’ll be asked to make a yes or no decision within a week or so after you attend.
3. Start putting a business plan together.
If you’re reasonably sure you’re going to say yes, you should put together a business plan. A business plan is pretty much required these days, especially if you’re going to need a small business loan.
4. Apply for your loan.
The franchisor may have sources for you…lenders that loan money for franchise business start-ups. They’re probably familiar with the franchise you’re thinking of buying. Contact them for sure.
5. Hire an attorney who specializes in franchise law.
Important: Only spend money for an attorney if you’re 90% sure you’re going to buy the franchise you’ve been focusing on. And, only hire a franchise attorney. Franchise attorney’s stay up on ever-changing franchise laws and are used to reading and sometimes even writing franchise documents.
6. Make your decision.
The rubber has met the road. It’s time for a yes or no decision.
If you’ve done enough fact-gathering, and you’re reasonably sure you’ll be able to make a real go at this…at owning and operating the franchise you’ve been investigating, make your decision.
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is a franchise ownership advisor. He’s the author of Become a Franchise Owner! (Wiley Publishing) and owns and operates Franchise Business University. Joel contributes a blog post to Franchise Direct monthly.