This is it — the day you’ll be making your final decision regarding the franchise opportunity you’ve been investigating. Are you ready?
Make Sure You’ve Done These 5 Things
1. Have you learned all you can about the franchise concept?
Have you talked to the people you need to talk to? What is the buzz on the street about the concept you’re looking into? Go to websites like Yelp to see what’s being said by customers. You might also consider setting up a Google Alert to track the brand's online presence.
2. Did you get enough real-life information from the franchisees you contacted?
Do you have a good understanding of what it’s really going to be like to own a business? When you asked your questions, were the answers franchisees gave you heartfelt? If necessary, don't hesitate to call a few franchisees back and ask more questions — the kind of questions that go deeper. Here's a recent interview we posted to our franchise blog.
3. Do you feel that all of your questions were answered by corporate?
The team at corporate wants to sell you a franchise — that’s part of the gig — but do you have any questions that you haven’t asked yet? Now's not the time to be shy. Ask!
4. Did you look at a couple of different financing alternatives?
What financing options did you investigate? The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) gives guarantees to banks that give out loans to small businesses, franchise businesses included.
5. Have you discussed a worst case scenario? What if your business fails? How much will you lose?
There’s no guarantee of success if you become the owner of a franchise. You're job is to do the research and make an educated decision, but, what is the worse-case scenario, financially? What would happen if your business failed? If you sit down with an accountant who’s familiar with small business, he or she can lay out all different kinds of scenarios… positive ones and negative ones. The more you know going in, the better off you’ll be.