Clarity of choice
|Have "Eagle Eye"
deciding on franchise
these top 10 tips.
Phill Tucker | Franchise Sales Manager | Eagle Boys Pizza
1. Don't underestimate the value of information in a Disclosure Document
This can be a tell-tale sign of a strong or weak franchise system as it provides key information on the operations of the business. Further to this, you'll be able to ascertain whether the franchise will allow you autonomous creativity in the business, or if there are rigid guidelines your franchise will need to abide by. Both models have their merits but you'll need to determine which is right for you.
2. Strength of Brand
Ensure the brand is well established, reputable, and positive. A strong brand will ensure your franchise is recognised in the community and help launch a client base. Customers see retail chains as one major brand, not individual franchised stores, so regardless of how well you execute service and operations in your store; it all comes back to how the brand is positioned. It'll remove a lot of the leg work for you when you don't need to worry about building a business image that promotes sales.
3. Bank Accreditation
Check which banks the franchise is accredited with; this is a good indication of their stability. Affiliations with reputable financial institutions will lend credibility to your business.
4. Talk with existing franchisees
Existing franchisees won't gloss over the details; they'll tell things as they are. Approach a local franchisee and ask if you can spend time in store to see for yourself if the franchise is right for you. You'll be able to get an idea on whether the pace of the business is what you're looking for. The last thing you want is to be either too busy, or not busy enough. Also you'll be able to determine what you'll mostly be spending your time doing. It's easy to assume a franchise will involve a certain amount of hands-on and clerical work, but the reality can often differ greatly from your assumptions.
5. Corporate Assistance
Look into what support is offered during the decision making process by the franchisor. Do they offer training prior to and during opening? Will you have a regional franchise manager? Are there regular meetings with other franchisees and head office? Is it easy to get information and help? It's important that your franchisor will allow you to communicate with other franchisees in an open and honest environment. You will have questions that need answering and its vital those answers are readily available.
6. Be your own potential customer
If you're choosing between potential franchise systems put yourself in the customer's shoes. Call the franchisor, view their website, visit their store, trial their product and/or service, and rate your satisfaction as a customer. If you're not impressed then your future customers won't be either.
7. Do the maths
Understand what your initial franchise fee goes towards, how much are the ongoing fees, and what do they get you? Are you getting value for money? Or will you need to outlay more than you can afford on training, manuals, corporate branding, etc.
8. Be savvy on where your marketing and advertising fees go
Franchise fees are one thing, but marketing fees will be spent to directly promote your business, so make sure you understand what's involved. Is marketing tailored to different markets? What mediums are used? (For example: will marketing fees fund TV advertisements, but franchisees must purchase all other marketing at their own cost. Do you receive additional support to execute your own local store marketing etc.) Advertising is an integral part of any business and you'll need to look into how much you'll need for your particular franchise area.
9. Research - Don't be impulsive
Investigate your options on as many levels as you can. Use a general web search, make phone calls, and study the potential franchisors' websites. Don't be afraid to ask the hard questions, for the moment you're the potential customer, so the franchisor has to meet your needs. Buying a franchise is a big decision, so take your time to do all the research you require, and don't make any decisions until you've satisfied all your concerns. It's always best to make an informed decision so make sure you've covered all bases including finances and logistical elements.
10. Don't forget to consider your own personal preferences
Ensure the franchise is something you're interested in, something you can see yourself being involved in, and most importantly, being proud of. Just because it appears successful, doesn't mean it's right for you. It's your business, so it has to reflect your values and lifestyle.
About Eagle Boys
Eagle Boys Pizza is one of Australia's largest pizza makers and is 100% Australian-owned. It operates more than 280 franchised stores throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, employing more than 4,000 staff and making more than 16 million pizzas a year.
Eagle Boys Pizza was named the nation's 2008 Supreme Retailer by the National Retail Association and received the Best Franchise award for the second consecutive year.