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It’s true; we live in a world full of franchises. Some are true to its roots and the intended company core values and others bring disgrace to the franchisor’s name. I’m sure you experience this on a daily basis when you go to your favorite franchised coffee shop and are pleased with the service and product you receive at one location and then travel to another to find the exact opposite experience. There are many reasons why this happens, but as the potential owner of a franchise, it’s your responsibility for it not to happen. At the end of the day— the fingers point at you, so ask yourself before you enter the world of franchising, can you effectively handle it?

If you’re seriously considering franchising do your research. Luckily for you, there are existing and standing locations that you can spend time in, ask questions at and get a feel for what the life of a franchiser is like. Regardless of whether there are a few franchise locations in your town, call up and visit several more away from you. Talk to managers, employees, and even the franchisees themselves. Get this— seek out unhappy franchises and ones that are underperforming, perhaps even failing, to learn from their mistakes and things to avoid. Should you proceed with this, you need to know the ins and outs of the business before you even get in.

Additionally, it’s not enough to ask questions about the daily ongoings— you need to find out what the parent company will do to support you on your franchisee mission. Here some things you need to know before you proceed:

What kind of training support does the company provide you and your staff?

What type of opening support will you receive?

What is their role in franchise marketing promotions? Will they provide collateral or are you responsible for it?

Will they provide ongoing support throughout the duration of ownership?

What is the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee?

What kind of purchasing power does the franchisor have? Will you, as the franchisee, ever be able to achieve this status to attain discounts?

What is the average or realistic earnings for a franchise of this nature?

The world of franchising is a fun and existing one, if you know all the facts of the business before you jump in. Like any business, it requires a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. Take your time and do your homework. Establish relationships with your potential franchisor, other franchisees, staff and, possibly, future customers before you even open your franchise’s doors. Above all else, remember that the success you will achieve is a result of what you put into it. Good luck!