Business ownership is a journey. You can’t just pop down to the store and buy a business. It’s something you have to think long and hard about, research extensively and then jump into with enthusiasm and vigor.
You also have to accept that your life is going to change. Business ownership isn’t something that just changes your life for a year or two, it will have a lasting impact on the rest of your life. If you are successful, it can set you up for the lifestyle you’ve always wanted and if you’re not successful, it can be difficult to recover from.
Fortunately, buying and running a franchise -- although not easy -- is usually simpler than trying to start a business on your own. Let’s look at the three stages of franchise business ownership and what you can expect from each stage.
Stage One: Searching
This is the stage where you decide that you want to be a business owner and you’ve decided that franchising is the right fit for you. In this stage, you’ll need to evaluate your finances and explore your various funding options to make sure that you can actually buy a franchise and open the business.
When you’re confident that you are financially able to open a franchise and will be able to procure the proper funding, you can start looking for the perfect franchise opportunity. This stage takes a lot of time, patience, research and footwork. You’ll need to decide what type of franchise you want and then explore the various options. Visit the various franchises’ websites, read reviews about them, call and talk to them and soak up all the information you can.
It’s a daunting task to choose the business that will impact the rest of your life, but fortunately you can get help from one of FranNet’s knowledgeable and helpful consultants. They’re here to guide you as you look for that perfect franchising fit.
Keep an open mind and have some fun. It’s a lot of work, but you are starting a new chapter in your life, so enjoy it.
Stage Two: Growing
Once your friendly FranNet consultant has helped you decide on the best franchising option for you, it’s time to start your business. You meet with your franchisor, get trained, establish your business, have your grand opening and then it’s time to start building that business.
Getting your franchise to a place where it is not only surviving, but thriving, takes a lot of energy. You will have to build relationships with a lot of different people and manage your cash flow so you always have money on hand if you need it. Remember that businesses tend to fold not because they completely run out of money, but because they don’t have access to money when they require it.
Let your business plan be your guide through this growing stage. Scale up your marketing and your level of service accordingly. Lean on your franchisor. Ask questions, use the resources at your disposal and learn from your franchising team.
Stage Three: Maintaining
At this stage, your business is now mature and an established part of the local community. You’ve put in the hours and worked hard to build trust with your customers, increase the value of what you offer, expand your reach and grow your profit. You’ve been following your franchisor’s business model and have probably even tried some new things.
The most important aspects of this stage are to be cognizant of threats to your business, particularly new competitors, and keeping up the passion and motivation for your business. Like most things, you can get complacent in business, especially when you’re not being challenged like you were when you started your enterprise. You can get burned out and things can start to slip at your business. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to constantly be innovating and changing routines. Challenge yourself to be as efficient as possible. Set goals that may seem unrealistic at first just to see if you can reach them. Always be striving to be better.
When entering into franchise business ownership, you’re going to be faced with a lot of hard work, but you’re also going to feel fulfilled once you become a success. Enjoy the journey. If you believe you’re ready to take that first step toward business ownership, sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today.