Researching the best franchises when you are thinking about buying a business franchise is difficult. There is no clear list of best franchises and the criteria for selecting “best” is based on whoever is making the list. Remember that most franchise directories are paid for by advertising – so the franchisors are paying for it – and the franchise organisations are run by franchisors – so there is nothing independent about 99% of the information you can get about franchising – it really is pot luck.
For example, a client of mine has a printing franchise. When he first started to research franchises he went to a franchise exhibition and had a good look around, but the best franchises don’t have special flashing signs on their stands, you have to pick the wheat from the chaff yourself. He spoke to a few franchisors and decided he was really interested in a Subway franchise.
The trouble is, the Subway sales guys never called. Meanwhile the chaps from a printing franchise were very hot on the case and persuaded him to buy. So how can you jump from a high-street branded food franchise like Subway to a much lesser known printing franchise?
It is really quite easy. It’s all about the way in which people buy and can be influenced through emotions, rather than logic. By getting back to my client, the printing franchise established a relationship with him that created an element of respect for them. This respect turned to trust and eventually they were able to do business together.
I’m delighted to say, the printing franchise has done OK for him. The same can’t be said for another client who eventually sold his residential cleaning franchise . He more than doubled his annual income by switching to something that was a better fit for his talents. He had been scrubbing floors (well, cleaning carpets anyway) for years before being woken up to his real potential. He has never looked back since.
I have worked with 27 franchisees, taking the time to understand what makes each of their businesses tick and then helping them to either grow, become more profitable, or to exit their franchise. All took their own decisions, I just helped them to step back and see their situation more clearly, without their excitement getting the best of them.
As a result of the many consultations I did with each client, I have spent hours discussing their situation and researching the realities behind franchising. I have also been a franchisee myself and found that I was a bad fit – a very expensive realisation that I wish I had known before investing in one. And because I am not biased either way about franchising you will find that my approach is very open and inquisitive. I want to help you find out what you get that is unique and helpful from the franchise, plus what do they stop you from doing.
I also like to keep things simple. When people start telling me things I can’t understand, I start to wonder if they are trying to bamboozle me with their words, rather than help me. When you are talking to a franchisor, watch out for weasel words that don’t tell you anything – if you can’t understand it, it is probably because there is something to hide!
If you are considering buying a franchise, save yourself some drama and pick up a copy of my practical buyer’s e-book, “The Franchise Opportunity Workbook”. It will help you find the best franchises and avoid the mediocre ones. It will also help you understand the one-sided nature of franchise agreements and help you to do a better job when buying. Written by an independent business coach, I don’t pull punches when it comes to asking the tough questions of your potential franchisor. You cannot afford to go in without your eyes fully wide open. The trouble is, how do you know what to ask?
It could be the best £30 you ever invest in business!