10 Steps For Choosing The Right Franchise

Written on the 15th of September 2011 by Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Buying franchises is a daunting task. You have to consider the Industry, the brand, competitors, location, finance and numerous other things. You also have to make sure it fits in with your experience, your skills and your lifestyle. Choosing a franchise is especially challenging job.

To make the process of choosing a franchise easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the ten steps you should follow.

Step 1 – Start your general research

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out about the franchise industry. A good place to start is the Internet - read articles and reports from the Franchise Council of Australia, search for advice from franchising experts and browse franchise directories to see what’s available. You should also subscribe to some franchising and small business magazines to get their perspective on the industry. Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you start on your franchise search.

Step 2 – Know yourself

So, now that you have an understanding of the franchise industry, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself and why you want to go into franchising. Firstly, brainstorm what you want from a franchise. Flexibility? The option to work from home? A challenge? To work with a strong brand? You also need to honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and your experience. For examples, if finance isn’t your strong point then you need to make sure you can get adequate financial support from the franchise you choose. It’s important for you to identify these things so you can base your future decision on them.

Step 3 - Assess your financial situation

It’s essential that you are realistic about what you can and can’t afford right from the beginning. Sit down with your accountant and crunch the numbers so you know right from the start what your budget is and also the timeframe you need for accessing finance. Figure out how much you can afford then choose your shortlist based on that, rather than choosing the franchises you like, then struggling to scrape together the money – starting off on the back foot will make it really difficult for you to succeed in the long-term. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! Looking above what you can realistically afford will only cause you more stress and confusion.

Step 4 - Shortlist your favourites

You’ve equipped yourself with knowledge of the industry and have established your own position, so now it’s time to find some franchise opportunities that you like. The best way to start is to search online directories, because you can conduct searches based on the industry you want to get into and on how much you want to invest. You should also view the websites of the franchises you like to find out more information about them and the opportunity they are offering. Ideally, the website should have a section dedicated to franchising with lots of information, like on the Australian Franchises website.

Next you should create a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate these franchises. Put the names of each franchise down the left side of the page and several headings across the top that are important to you, such as ‘professional image’, ‘brand strength’, ‘training offered’ and ‘marketing support’. Then for each franchise, make notes about each area and rate them out of ten. This summary only needs to be very basic to help you get your list down to 3, so you can contact each of these for more information.

Step 5 - Contact your shortlisted franchises

You will now need more information from the 3 franchises on your shortlist. Make contact with each one and arrange to meet or speak with their Franchising Manager. Prepare a list of questions to ask them to get more details on what you have already ranked them on and to work out whether you will be compatible with them. Many potential franchisees that contact a potential franchisor for more information ask questions such as:

  • Who runs the company?
  • What is the target market?
  • How does the franchise system work?
  • What will it cost me to set up a franchise?
  • What kind of training, marketing and support is offered?

Asking questions like this will help you get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 6 – Choose your favourite

Now that you’ve had a chance to speak to someone from each of your shortlisted franchises and been given more information, you should evaluate everything you have learnt and choose a favourite to pursue. Once you choose to contact this franchise again to get more information, you are moving along the franchisee process, but you are not yet locked into anything.

Usually this stage will involve signing a confidentiality agreement, because the franchisor will be giving you information that they don’t want you to pass onto anyone else. These agreements are standard in the industry, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it. At this stage, the franchisor will also want to make sure you are the right type of person for them, so they may ask for permission to do a credit check on you and ask you some qualifying questions. If both parties are keen, you can continue to move onto the next stage which involves you signing an agreement and gaining access to their financial data.

Step 7 – Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten this far in the franchisee process, you are obviously pretty serious about investing in the franchise. After you’ve signed an agreement with the franchisor and been given their financial data and other information, you get a period of time to conduct what is called ‘due diligence’. This basically just means doing even more thorough research and seeking professional advice.

Get more detailed information about the company by speaking to their other franchisees and researching more about their products and services, history and directors. Then meet with your lawyer and accountant to go through everything with them and get their expert opinion. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn as much as you can, then compare it with your experience, skills and financial situation. If you aren’t 100% convinced that it’s the opportunity for you, then now is the time to pull out.

Step 8 - Formal interview

As mentioned, it is just as important to the franchisor that you are the right person for the job. So once you’ve received all the information from them and passed all their checks, it’s time to have a formal interview with their franchising team. This is designed to find out if you are compatible with their business and to discuss all the finer details of the opportunity. Obviously you will still have more questions, so use this opportunity to ask them – don’t leave this meeting without finding out what you want to know. Also, evaluate the key people in the franchise face-to-face – if you don’t like the people, the franchise may not be for you. If the franchisor wants to formally offer you the franchise and you accept the offer, you will have to sign a legally binding agreement and organise to pay an initial deposit (the deposit will vary greatly depending on the company).

Step 9 - Use the ‘cooling off’ period

A ‘cooling off’ period is a certain amount of time that franchisors are legally required to give you to think about your decision to sign with them. This time is required by law because many people change their mind after signing because they got caught up in the excitement of the process or were pressured into it. In this time, you can withdraw from your agreement with them without losing your deposit. However you will be charged for any costs that the franchisor incurred in that time (such as lawyer’s fees), so the best idea is not to sign in the first place if you have doubts. If you do sign, but are then unsure, take advantage of this time to evaluate your decision and seek more advice if necessary.

Step 10 - Become a franchisee

Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of Australians that own a franchise business and get to be their own boss. This stage of the process involves making payment for the franchise you have purchased and getting your business underway. Firstly you will need to arrange a time to begin the training offered by the franchisor and also organize the location of your business. The process and timelines at this stage really depend on the company you are involved with, so make sure you work this all out with them.

The final piece of advice I can give you is to maximize the opportunity you have been given – take advantage of extra training, engage in lots of local area marketing, build strong relationships with the franchisor and other franchisees and do everything you possibly can to achieve success in your business. If you do this, the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!

Resources

Australia's No.1 business franchise company providing opportunities to start own business with expert franchise advice and latest franchise news. Contact us for business for sale and many other franchise business opportunities in Australia.


Author: Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools
Australian Franchises

10 Steps For Choosing The Right Franchise

Written on the 15th of September 2011 by Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Buying franchises is a daunting task. You have to consider the Industry, the brand, competitors, location, finance and numerous other things. You also have to make sure it fits in with your experience, your skills and your lifestyle. Choosing a franchise is especially challenging job.

To make the process of choosing a franchise easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the ten steps you should follow.

Step 1 – Start your general research

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out about the franchise industry. A good place to start is the Internet - read articles and reports from the Franchise Council of Australia, search for advice from franchising experts and browse franchise directories to see what’s available. You should also subscribe to some franchising and small business magazines to get their perspective on the industry. Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you start on your franchise search.

Step 2 – Know yourself

So, now that you have an understanding of the franchise industry, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself and why you want to go into franchising. Firstly, brainstorm what you want from a franchise. Flexibility? The option to work from home? A challenge? To work with a strong brand? You also need to honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and your experience. For examples, if finance isn’t your strong point then you need to make sure you can get adequate financial support from the franchise you choose. It’s important for you to identify these things so you can base your future decision on them.

Step 3 - Assess your financial situation

It’s essential that you are realistic about what you can and can’t afford right from the beginning. Sit down with your accountant and crunch the numbers so you know right from the start what your budget is and also the timeframe you need for accessing finance. Figure out how much you can afford then choose your shortlist based on that, rather than choosing the franchises you like, then struggling to scrape together the money – starting off on the back foot will make it really difficult for you to succeed in the long-term. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! Looking above what you can realistically afford will only cause you more stress and confusion.

Step 4 - Shortlist your favourites

You’ve equipped yourself with knowledge of the industry and have established your own position, so now it’s time to find some franchise opportunities that you like. The best way to start is to search online directories, because you can conduct searches based on the industry you want to get into and on how much you want to invest. You should also view the websites of the franchises you like to find out more information about them and the opportunity they are offering. Ideally, the website should have a section dedicated to franchising with lots of information, like on the Australian Franchises website.

Next you should create a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate these franchises. Put the names of each franchise down the left side of the page and several headings across the top that are important to you, such as ‘professional image’, ‘brand strength’, ‘training offered’ and ‘marketing support’. Then for each franchise, make notes about each area and rate them out of ten. This summary only needs to be very basic to help you get your list down to 3, so you can contact each of these for more information.

Step 5 - Contact your shortlisted franchises

You will now need more information from the 3 franchises on your shortlist. Make contact with each one and arrange to meet or speak with their Franchising Manager. Prepare a list of questions to ask them to get more details on what you have already ranked them on and to work out whether you will be compatible with them. Many potential franchisees that contact a potential franchisor for more information ask questions such as:

  • Who runs the company?
  • What is the target market?
  • How does the franchise system work?
  • What will it cost me to set up a franchise?
  • What kind of training, marketing and support is offered?

Asking questions like this will help you get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 6 – Choose your favourite

Now that you’ve had a chance to speak to someone from each of your shortlisted franchises and been given more information, you should evaluate everything you have learnt and choose a favourite to pursue. Once you choose to contact this franchise again to get more information, you are moving along the franchisee process, but you are not yet locked into anything.

Usually this stage will involve signing a confidentiality agreement, because the franchisor will be giving you information that they don’t want you to pass onto anyone else. These agreements are standard in the industry, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it. At this stage, the franchisor will also want to make sure you are the right type of person for them, so they may ask for permission to do a credit check on you and ask you some qualifying questions. If both parties are keen, you can continue to move onto the next stage which involves you signing an agreement and gaining access to their financial data.

Step 7 – Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten this far in the franchisee process, you are obviously pretty serious about investing in the franchise. After you’ve signed an agreement with the franchisor and been given their financial data and other information, you get a period of time to conduct what is called ‘due diligence’. This basically just means doing even more thorough research and seeking professional advice.

Get more detailed information about the company by speaking to their other franchisees and researching more about their products and services, history and directors. Then meet with your lawyer and accountant to go through everything with them and get their expert opinion. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn as much as you can, then compare it with your experience, skills and financial situation. If you aren’t 100% convinced that it’s the opportunity for you, then now is the time to pull out.

Step 8 - Formal interview

As mentioned, it is just as important to the franchisor that you are the right person for the job. So once you’ve received all the information from them and passed all their checks, it’s time to have a formal interview with their franchising team. This is designed to find out if you are compatible with their business and to discuss all the finer details of the opportunity. Obviously you will still have more questions, so use this opportunity to ask them – don’t leave this meeting without finding out what you want to know. Also, evaluate the key people in the franchise face-to-face – if you don’t like the people, the franchise may not be for you. If the franchisor wants to formally offer you the franchise and you accept the offer, you will have to sign a legally binding agreement and organise to pay an initial deposit (the deposit will vary greatly depending on the company).

Step 9 - Use the ‘cooling off’ period

A ‘cooling off’ period is a certain amount of time that franchisors are legally required to give you to think about your decision to sign with them. This time is required by law because many people change their mind after signing because they got caught up in the excitement of the process or were pressured into it. In this time, you can withdraw from your agreement with them without losing your deposit. However you will be charged for any costs that the franchisor incurred in that time (such as lawyer’s fees), so the best idea is not to sign in the first place if you have doubts. If you do sign, but are then unsure, take advantage of this time to evaluate your decision and seek more advice if necessary.

Step 10 - Become a franchisee

Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of Australians that own a franchise business and get to be their own boss. This stage of the process involves making payment for the franchise you have purchased and getting your business underway. Firstly you will need to arrange a time to begin the training offered by the franchisor and also organize the location of your business. The process and timelines at this stage really depend on the company you are involved with, so make sure you work this all out with them.

The final piece of advice I can give you is to maximize the opportunity you have been given – take advantage of extra training, engage in lots of local area marketing, build strong relationships with the franchisor and other franchisees and do everything you possibly can to achieve success in your business. If you do this, the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!

Resources

Australia's No.1 business franchise company providing opportunities to start own business with expert franchise advice and latest franchise news. Contact us for business for sale and many other franchise business opportunities in Australia.


Author: Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

An Interview with Gabby Kelly - Bakers Delight General Manager of Company Growth

Written on the 19 December 2011 by Australian Franchises

An Interview with Gabby Kelly - Bakers Delight General Manager of Company Growth

Recently Australian Franchises was given the opportunity to interview Gabby Kelly from Bakers Delight. As General Manager of Company Growth we were delighted to be able to pick her brain about the challenges currently facing the retail sector and how international expansion compares to a franchises initial growth in it's domestic market. 

Gabby Kelly GM Company Growth Bakers DelightBeing a baker requires many years of training through an apprenticeship. How does this affect Bakers Delight's franchisee recruitment strategy? and what tips would you have for other industries that require minimum qualifications?


While becoming a baker does require structured training, you do not have to have baking experience to become a Bakers Delight franchisee. No matter what your background or financial position, the main criteria we look for in a successful franchisee is drive and ambition.
All our prospective franchisees undergo the comprehensive Bakers Delight Franchise Training program to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to operate a bakery. The 16 20 week competency based training includes extensive on the job practical training, from baking, production management, marketing, purchasing and inventory to accounting and management practices.
We're not in a position to provide tips on other industries that require minimum qualifications, as this is not needed to become a Bakers Delight franchisee.


Finding the right location is essential for the success of any retail store. What tips can you provide for franchisees that may be looking at several locations?

 

Bakers Delight's experienced property team uses its expertise in property selection to locate viable retail precincts and also negotiates leases directly with landlords on behalf of its franchise network.

Tips for selecting a successful retail location include:

  • Consider customer flow it is important to understand traffic flow, because without customers there is no business.
  • Complete a site selection report/process/lease analysis Bakers Delight conduct a thorough review of what else is available locally in terms of entrances, exits, car parks and supermarkets.
  • Demographics of area we make sure we understand the customer and where they are located and make sure the business complements the existing retailers in the area.
  • Talking to the landlord finding out what is planned for the centre in the coming years, especially around refurbishments and how it could impact the business.

 

Keeping your franchisees happy is essential for your business. What tips can you provide to franchisors and franchisees for dealing with any disputes that may arise from time to time?


Bakers Delight New UniformsBakers Delight offers 'hands-on' support and proven business procedures and systems, to assist in managing a business.
Area Managers are assigned to each bakery to act as a business partner and provide guidance on operating a business. Conferences, marketing forums, baking competitions and territory-based meetings, also give franchisees the opportunity to share their successes and talk through challenges with like-minded business operators and head office. This constant support is a key driver of managing mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees.
The opportunity to network with other franchisees and benchmark results provides an invaluable support system to the 700 strong bakery networks.


Many businesses in the retail sector are still hurting post GFC yet Bakers Delight is growing stronger and expanding global operations. Looking back to when the GFC first hit the news, how did Bakers Delight respond to protect itself and its franchisees and would you do it exactly the same again?


With bread a staple and growing consumer demand for fresh baked bread, Bakers Delight stands up well in tough times. When the GFC hit Bakers Delight was undergoing a brand reinivigoration and invested heavily in advertising to further reinforce this positioning.
Bakers Delight continues to expand despite the retail slump and is predicting strong financial performance for FY12, expecting to reach a global sales turnover of $587m.


On your website you mention that 10% of your outlets are company owned. What are the benefits of keeping company owned outlets and not franchising them all?


Company owned bakeries are an important asset as they provide not only a source of profit for the Bakers Delight network (and COBS Bread in Canada) but also an excellent training environment for our staff and new franchisees.


In the past, people where very particular about their bakers. It was a very personal choice. How have you managed to build a national franchise, without losing that essence of "the local baker"?

Despite being Australia's largest bakery franchise, Bakers Delight has maintained strong  community ties. Links with local communities, reinforces that Bakers Delight isn't a faceless brand   bakeries are run by real people from real communities. 

Being involved in the community means that our franchisees are able to build meaningful relationships with their customers. Personal service makes a huge difference. Bakery employees also get a lot of satisfaction out of giving back to the local communities in which they serve. There is a feeling of making a real difference to the lives of many and it brings staff, the franchise network, our customers and communities closer together.

Community, social and environmental initiatives demonstrate Bakers Delight's commitment to the triple bottom line. This commitment contributes to the organisation's long-term sustainability. Over the years Bakers Delight has developed a range of initiatives that contribute to its leadership in the industry including Bundraiser Day at Easter, long-standing support of Breast Cancer Network Australia raising $5.5M, and local community sponsorship.

Bakers Delight has expanded operations in Canada and New Zealand. What key challenges have you had to overcome with setting up overseas operations?


Bakers Delight/COBS Bread international strategy involved taking our proven business model and systems to a 'like' market.
Since we entered the Canadian market in 2003 a portfolio of over 70 has been established.
Global expansion has not occurred without challenge. Overcoming and learning about government, industry and cultural differences has resulted in thorough research of foreign markets. The real challenges, however, are not dissimilar to challenges faced in the Australian market.

Bakers Delight prides itself on baking everything fresh in each store, each day. Does this create any challenges meeting customer expectations with regards to quality and product availability?

 

Bakers Delight bread is baked fresh from scratch each day using real ingredients, and this is the reason our customers love our products. This is a key point of difference from many pre-packaged supermarket breads that could be sitting on the shelf for days before being consumed.

At Bakers Delight we are constantly staying on top of consumer trends, in order to make sure we have the best product quality for our customers. At the moment there is an increasing consumer demand for healthier options. Bakers Delight has a range of products that support this trend including our healthy Traditional White Block Loaf, to our wholegrain range including the ever popular Cape Seed bread with nine grains and seeds, Chia Bread, high in fibre and a source of Omega 3 ALA, and our Hi-Fibre Lo-GI white bread that has the highest fibre of any freshly baked white bread in Australia and is low GI.

As part of the company's health commitment, Bakers Delight's Traditional and Continental bread range is made with unbleached flour and contains no preservatives, added sugar, or artificial colours or flavours.  Bakers Delight has introduced 25 wholemeal or wholegrain products in the last 10 years and have seen a marked  increase in sales due to customers' desire for wholemeal and wholegrain breads which provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The Bakers Delight TV commercials have become something of an Aussie Icon.  What are the challenges faced with national marketing for a "local" store?


Bakers Delight has a strong brand presence. Essential to local connection is being active in the local community.
Bakeries have access to local marketing support from in-store local initiatives, press advertising, local PR, community sponsorships, and more.


Author: Australian Franchises

10 Steps For Choosing The Right Franchise

Written on the 15th of September 2011 by Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Buying franchises is a daunting task. You have to consider the Industry, the brand, competitors, location, finance and numerous other things. You also have to make sure it fits in with your experience, your skills and your lifestyle. Choosing a franchise is especially challenging job.

To make the process of choosing a franchise easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the ten steps you should follow.

Step 1 – Start your general research

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out about the franchise industry. A good place to start is the Internet - read articles and reports from the Franchise Council of Australia, search for advice from franchising experts and browse franchise directories to see what’s available. You should also subscribe to some franchising and small business magazines to get their perspective on the industry. Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you start on your franchise search.

Step 2 – Know yourself

So, now that you have an understanding of the franchise industry, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself and why you want to go into franchising. Firstly, brainstorm what you want from a franchise. Flexibility? The option to work from home? A challenge? To work with a strong brand? You also need to honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and your experience. For examples, if finance isn’t your strong point then you need to make sure you can get adequate financial support from the franchise you choose. It’s important for you to identify these things so you can base your future decision on them.

Step 3 - Assess your financial situation

It’s essential that you are realistic about what you can and can’t afford right from the beginning. Sit down with your accountant and crunch the numbers so you know right from the start what your budget is and also the timeframe you need for accessing finance. Figure out how much you can afford then choose your shortlist based on that, rather than choosing the franchises you like, then struggling to scrape together the money – starting off on the back foot will make it really difficult for you to succeed in the long-term. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! Looking above what you can realistically afford will only cause you more stress and confusion.

Step 4 - Shortlist your favourites

You’ve equipped yourself with knowledge of the industry and have established your own position, so now it’s time to find some franchise opportunities that you like. The best way to start is to search online directories, because you can conduct searches based on the industry you want to get into and on how much you want to invest. You should also view the websites of the franchises you like to find out more information about them and the opportunity they are offering. Ideally, the website should have a section dedicated to franchising with lots of information, like on the Australian Franchises website.

Next you should create a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate these franchises. Put the names of each franchise down the left side of the page and several headings across the top that are important to you, such as ‘professional image’, ‘brand strength’, ‘training offered’ and ‘marketing support’. Then for each franchise, make notes about each area and rate them out of ten. This summary only needs to be very basic to help you get your list down to 3, so you can contact each of these for more information.

Step 5 - Contact your shortlisted franchises

You will now need more information from the 3 franchises on your shortlist. Make contact with each one and arrange to meet or speak with their Franchising Manager. Prepare a list of questions to ask them to get more details on what you have already ranked them on and to work out whether you will be compatible with them. Many potential franchisees that contact a potential franchisor for more information ask questions such as:

  • Who runs the company?
  • What is the target market?
  • How does the franchise system work?
  • What will it cost me to set up a franchise?
  • What kind of training, marketing and support is offered?

Asking questions like this will help you get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 6 – Choose your favourite

Now that you’ve had a chance to speak to someone from each of your shortlisted franchises and been given more information, you should evaluate everything you have learnt and choose a favourite to pursue. Once you choose to contact this franchise again to get more information, you are moving along the franchisee process, but you are not yet locked into anything.

Usually this stage will involve signing a confidentiality agreement, because the franchisor will be giving you information that they don’t want you to pass onto anyone else. These agreements are standard in the industry, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it. At this stage, the franchisor will also want to make sure you are the right type of person for them, so they may ask for permission to do a credit check on you and ask you some qualifying questions. If both parties are keen, you can continue to move onto the next stage which involves you signing an agreement and gaining access to their financial data.

Step 7 – Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten this far in the franchisee process, you are obviously pretty serious about investing in the franchise. After you’ve signed an agreement with the franchisor and been given their financial data and other information, you get a period of time to conduct what is called ‘due diligence’. This basically just means doing even more thorough research and seeking professional advice.

Get more detailed information about the company by speaking to their other franchisees and researching more about their products and services, history and directors. Then meet with your lawyer and accountant to go through everything with them and get their expert opinion. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn as much as you can, then compare it with your experience, skills and financial situation. If you aren’t 100% convinced that it’s the opportunity for you, then now is the time to pull out.

Step 8 - Formal interview

As mentioned, it is just as important to the franchisor that you are the right person for the job. So once you’ve received all the information from them and passed all their checks, it’s time to have a formal interview with their franchising team. This is designed to find out if you are compatible with their business and to discuss all the finer details of the opportunity. Obviously you will still have more questions, so use this opportunity to ask them – don’t leave this meeting without finding out what you want to know. Also, evaluate the key people in the franchise face-to-face – if you don’t like the people, the franchise may not be for you. If the franchisor wants to formally offer you the franchise and you accept the offer, you will have to sign a legally binding agreement and organise to pay an initial deposit (the deposit will vary greatly depending on the company).

Step 9 - Use the ‘cooling off’ period

A ‘cooling off’ period is a certain amount of time that franchisors are legally required to give you to think about your decision to sign with them. This time is required by law because many people change their mind after signing because they got caught up in the excitement of the process or were pressured into it. In this time, you can withdraw from your agreement with them without losing your deposit. However you will be charged for any costs that the franchisor incurred in that time (such as lawyer’s fees), so the best idea is not to sign in the first place if you have doubts. If you do sign, but are then unsure, take advantage of this time to evaluate your decision and seek more advice if necessary.

Step 10 - Become a franchisee

Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of Australians that own a franchise business and get to be their own boss. This stage of the process involves making payment for the franchise you have purchased and getting your business underway. Firstly you will need to arrange a time to begin the training offered by the franchisor and also organize the location of your business. The process and timelines at this stage really depend on the company you are involved with, so make sure you work this all out with them.

The final piece of advice I can give you is to maximize the opportunity you have been given – take advantage of extra training, engage in lots of local area marketing, build strong relationships with the franchisor and other franchisees and do everything you possibly can to achieve success in your business. If you do this, the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!

Resources

Australia's No.1 business franchise company providing opportunities to start own business with expert franchise advice and latest franchise news. Contact us for business for sale and many other franchise business opportunities in Australia.


Author: Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Latest Franchise News


10 Steps For Choosing The Right Franchise

Written on the 15th of September 2011 by Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Buying franchises is a daunting task. You have to consider the Industry, the brand, competitors, location, finance and numerous other things. You also have to make sure it fits in with your experience, your skills and your lifestyle. Choosing a franchise is especially challenging job.

To make the process of choosing a franchise easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the ten steps you should follow.

Step 1 – Start your general research

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out about the franchise industry. A good place to start is the Internet - read articles and reports from the Franchise Council of Australia, search for advice from franchising experts and browse franchise directories to see what’s available. You should also subscribe to some franchising and small business magazines to get their perspective on the industry. Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you start on your franchise search.

Step 2 – Know yourself

So, now that you have an understanding of the franchise industry, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself and why you want to go into franchising. Firstly, brainstorm what you want from a franchise. Flexibility? The option to work from home? A challenge? To work with a strong brand? You also need to honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and your experience. For examples, if finance isn’t your strong point then you need to make sure you can get adequate financial support from the franchise you choose. It’s important for you to identify these things so you can base your future decision on them.

Step 3 - Assess your financial situation

It’s essential that you are realistic about what you can and can’t afford right from the beginning. Sit down with your accountant and crunch the numbers so you know right from the start what your budget is and also the timeframe you need for accessing finance. Figure out how much you can afford then choose your shortlist based on that, rather than choosing the franchises you like, then struggling to scrape together the money – starting off on the back foot will make it really difficult for you to succeed in the long-term. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! Looking above what you can realistically afford will only cause you more stress and confusion.

Step 4 - Shortlist your favourites

You’ve equipped yourself with knowledge of the industry and have established your own position, so now it’s time to find some franchise opportunities that you like. The best way to start is to search online directories, because you can conduct searches based on the industry you want to get into and on how much you want to invest. You should also view the websites of the franchises you like to find out more information about them and the opportunity they are offering. Ideally, the website should have a section dedicated to franchising with lots of information, like on the Australian Franchises website.

Next you should create a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate these franchises. Put the names of each franchise down the left side of the page and several headings across the top that are important to you, such as ‘professional image’, ‘brand strength’, ‘training offered’ and ‘marketing support’. Then for each franchise, make notes about each area and rate them out of ten. This summary only needs to be very basic to help you get your list down to 3, so you can contact each of these for more information.

Step 5 - Contact your shortlisted franchises

You will now need more information from the 3 franchises on your shortlist. Make contact with each one and arrange to meet or speak with their Franchising Manager. Prepare a list of questions to ask them to get more details on what you have already ranked them on and to work out whether you will be compatible with them. Many potential franchisees that contact a potential franchisor for more information ask questions such as:

  • Who runs the company?
  • What is the target market?
  • How does the franchise system work?
  • What will it cost me to set up a franchise?
  • What kind of training, marketing and support is offered?

Asking questions like this will help you get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 6 – Choose your favourite

Now that you’ve had a chance to speak to someone from each of your shortlisted franchises and been given more information, you should evaluate everything you have learnt and choose a favourite to pursue. Once you choose to contact this franchise again to get more information, you are moving along the franchisee process, but you are not yet locked into anything.

Usually this stage will involve signing a confidentiality agreement, because the franchisor will be giving you information that they don’t want you to pass onto anyone else. These agreements are standard in the industry, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it. At this stage, the franchisor will also want to make sure you are the right type of person for them, so they may ask for permission to do a credit check on you and ask you some qualifying questions. If both parties are keen, you can continue to move onto the next stage which involves you signing an agreement and gaining access to their financial data.

Step 7 – Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten this far in the franchisee process, you are obviously pretty serious about investing in the franchise. After you’ve signed an agreement with the franchisor and been given their financial data and other information, you get a period of time to conduct what is called ‘due diligence’. This basically just means doing even more thorough research and seeking professional advice.

Get more detailed information about the company by speaking to their other franchisees and researching more about their products and services, history and directors. Then meet with your lawyer and accountant to go through everything with them and get their expert opinion. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn as much as you can, then compare it with your experience, skills and financial situation. If you aren’t 100% convinced that it’s the opportunity for you, then now is the time to pull out.

Step 8 - Formal interview

As mentioned, it is just as important to the franchisor that you are the right person for the job. So once you’ve received all the information from them and passed all their checks, it’s time to have a formal interview with their franchising team. This is designed to find out if you are compatible with their business and to discuss all the finer details of the opportunity. Obviously you will still have more questions, so use this opportunity to ask them – don’t leave this meeting without finding out what you want to know. Also, evaluate the key people in the franchise face-to-face – if you don’t like the people, the franchise may not be for you. If the franchisor wants to formally offer you the franchise and you accept the offer, you will have to sign a legally binding agreement and organise to pay an initial deposit (the deposit will vary greatly depending on the company).

Step 9 - Use the ‘cooling off’ period

A ‘cooling off’ period is a certain amount of time that franchisors are legally required to give you to think about your decision to sign with them. This time is required by law because many people change their mind after signing because they got caught up in the excitement of the process or were pressured into it. In this time, you can withdraw from your agreement with them without losing your deposit. However you will be charged for any costs that the franchisor incurred in that time (such as lawyer’s fees), so the best idea is not to sign in the first place if you have doubts. If you do sign, but are then unsure, take advantage of this time to evaluate your decision and seek more advice if necessary.

Step 10 - Become a franchisee

Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of Australians that own a franchise business and get to be their own boss. This stage of the process involves making payment for the franchise you have purchased and getting your business underway. Firstly you will need to arrange a time to begin the training offered by the franchisor and also organize the location of your business. The process and timelines at this stage really depend on the company you are involved with, so make sure you work this all out with them.

The final piece of advice I can give you is to maximize the opportunity you have been given – take advantage of extra training, engage in lots of local area marketing, build strong relationships with the franchisor and other franchisees and do everything you possibly can to achieve success in your business. If you do this, the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!

Resources

Australia's No.1 business franchise company providing opportunities to start own business with expert franchise advice and latest franchise news. Contact us for business for sale and many other franchise business opportunities in Australia.


Author: Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools
View more Franchise News

Expert Advice


10 Steps For Choosing The Right Franchise

Written on the 15th of September 2011 by Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools

Buying franchises is a daunting task. You have to consider the Industry, the brand, competitors, location, finance and numerous other things. You also have to make sure it fits in with your experience, your skills and your lifestyle. Choosing a franchise is especially challenging job.

To make the process of choosing a franchise easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the ten steps you should follow.

Step 1 – Start your general research

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out about the franchise industry. A good place to start is the Internet - read articles and reports from the Franchise Council of Australia, search for advice from franchising experts and browse franchise directories to see what’s available. You should also subscribe to some franchising and small business magazines to get their perspective on the industry. Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you start on your franchise search.

Step 2 – Know yourself

So, now that you have an understanding of the franchise industry, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself and why you want to go into franchising. Firstly, brainstorm what you want from a franchise. Flexibility? The option to work from home? A challenge? To work with a strong brand? You also need to honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and your experience. For examples, if finance isn’t your strong point then you need to make sure you can get adequate financial support from the franchise you choose. It’s important for you to identify these things so you can base your future decision on them.

Step 3 - Assess your financial situation

It’s essential that you are realistic about what you can and can’t afford right from the beginning. Sit down with your accountant and crunch the numbers so you know right from the start what your budget is and also the timeframe you need for accessing finance. Figure out how much you can afford then choose your shortlist based on that, rather than choosing the franchises you like, then struggling to scrape together the money – starting off on the back foot will make it really difficult for you to succeed in the long-term. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! Looking above what you can realistically afford will only cause you more stress and confusion.

Step 4 - Shortlist your favourites

You’ve equipped yourself with knowledge of the industry and have established your own position, so now it’s time to find some franchise opportunities that you like. The best way to start is to search online directories, because you can conduct searches based on the industry you want to get into and on how much you want to invest. You should also view the websites of the franchises you like to find out more information about them and the opportunity they are offering. Ideally, the website should have a section dedicated to franchising with lots of information, like on the Australian Franchises website.

Next you should create a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate these franchises. Put the names of each franchise down the left side of the page and several headings across the top that are important to you, such as ‘professional image’, ‘brand strength’, ‘training offered’ and ‘marketing support’. Then for each franchise, make notes about each area and rate them out of ten. This summary only needs to be very basic to help you get your list down to 3, so you can contact each of these for more information.

Step 5 - Contact your shortlisted franchises

You will now need more information from the 3 franchises on your shortlist. Make contact with each one and arrange to meet or speak with their Franchising Manager. Prepare a list of questions to ask them to get more details on what you have already ranked them on and to work out whether you will be compatible with them. Many potential franchisees that contact a potential franchisor for more information ask questions such as:

  • Who runs the company?
  • What is the target market?
  • How does the franchise system work?
  • What will it cost me to set up a franchise?
  • What kind of training, marketing and support is offered?

Asking questions like this will help you get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 6 – Choose your favourite

Now that you’ve had a chance to speak to someone from each of your shortlisted franchises and been given more information, you should evaluate everything you have learnt and choose a favourite to pursue. Once you choose to contact this franchise again to get more information, you are moving along the franchisee process, but you are not yet locked into anything.

Usually this stage will involve signing a confidentiality agreement, because the franchisor will be giving you information that they don’t want you to pass onto anyone else. These agreements are standard in the industry, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it. At this stage, the franchisor will also want to make sure you are the right type of person for them, so they may ask for permission to do a credit check on you and ask you some qualifying questions. If both parties are keen, you can continue to move onto the next stage which involves you signing an agreement and gaining access to their financial data.

Step 7 – Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten this far in the franchisee process, you are obviously pretty serious about investing in the franchise. After you’ve signed an agreement with the franchisor and been given their financial data and other information, you get a period of time to conduct what is called ‘due diligence’. This basically just means doing even more thorough research and seeking professional advice.

Get more detailed information about the company by speaking to their other franchisees and researching more about their products and services, history and directors. Then meet with your lawyer and accountant to go through everything with them and get their expert opinion. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn as much as you can, then compare it with your experience, skills and financial situation. If you aren’t 100% convinced that it’s the opportunity for you, then now is the time to pull out.

Step 8 - Formal interview

As mentioned, it is just as important to the franchisor that you are the right person for the job. So once you’ve received all the information from them and passed all their checks, it’s time to have a formal interview with their franchising team. This is designed to find out if you are compatible with their business and to discuss all the finer details of the opportunity. Obviously you will still have more questions, so use this opportunity to ask them – don’t leave this meeting without finding out what you want to know. Also, evaluate the key people in the franchise face-to-face – if you don’t like the people, the franchise may not be for you. If the franchisor wants to formally offer you the franchise and you accept the offer, you will have to sign a legally binding agreement and organise to pay an initial deposit (the deposit will vary greatly depending on the company).

Step 9 - Use the ‘cooling off’ period

A ‘cooling off’ period is a certain amount of time that franchisors are legally required to give you to think about your decision to sign with them. This time is required by law because many people change their mind after signing because they got caught up in the excitement of the process or were pressured into it. In this time, you can withdraw from your agreement with them without losing your deposit. However you will be charged for any costs that the franchisor incurred in that time (such as lawyer’s fees), so the best idea is not to sign in the first place if you have doubts. If you do sign, but are then unsure, take advantage of this time to evaluate your decision and seek more advice if necessary.

Step 10 - Become a franchisee

Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of Australians that own a franchise business and get to be their own boss. This stage of the process involves making payment for the franchise you have purchased and getting your business underway. Firstly you will need to arrange a time to begin the training offered by the franchisor and also organize the location of your business. The process and timelines at this stage really depend on the company you are involved with, so make sure you work this all out with them.

The final piece of advice I can give you is to maximize the opportunity you have been given – take advantage of extra training, engage in lots of local area marketing, build strong relationships with the franchisor and other franchisees and do everything you possibly can to achieve success in your business. If you do this, the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!

Resources

Australia's No.1 business franchise company providing opportunities to start own business with expert franchise advice and latest franchise news. Contact us for business for sale and many other franchise business opportunities in Australia.


Author: Tracey Voyce - Bloomtools
View more Expert Advice
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