Ian Krawitz | Head of Intelligence | 10 THOUSAND FEET
As the economy continues to tighten and redundancies are on the rise, a lot of people who have recently lost their job are faced with the question whether they want to go back into a salaried employee position or put their destiny more squarely in their control and start their own business, whether that be a franchise business or a new concept.
If you are in this situation and you choose the salaried employment option, you may need to be prepared to take a salary cut and/or to re-skill. Particularly if you have been in a senior role previously and need to take on a more junior position, getting your computer skills up to speed is essential as in a less senior position you'll be expected to be more hands on in executing tasks, and you'll be expected to be as efficient as the gen y and gen x employees you'll be competing with for roles.
If you choose to be your own boss, in taking one of many franchise business opportunities you will become a business owner. Being a business owner doesn't mean you need to have an entrepreneurial streak as the franchising industry offers different business models that cater for all sorts of personalities including people who like their job security. It is not just a matter of picking the best franchise business, but the best franchise business which suits your personality and background.
Take into account your appetite for risk. Are you a born entrepreneur and need a system with a bit of flexibility or do you have more of a salaried employee mindset and appreciate a greater deal of structure and services provided by the franchisor?
At 10 THOUSAND FEET and topfranchise, we have looked at different profiles of prospective franchisees looking at franchise business opportunities. If you have always had more of the mindset of a salaried employee and a lower appetite for risk then you will want a system that excels in providing a solid financial reward, and good guidance on your financials to help you get the financial return you will be happy with. On the other hand, people with an entrepreneurial itch who have considered their own business in the past will want to look at the simplicity of the business model. Get a clear understanding of the cost inputs and the way you will make money from the business, so you can understand what part of the business you'll apply your entrepreneurial spirit to.
Regardless of your background, these are a few tips you should consider when deciding upon franchise business opportunities:
First and foremost, you should closely look at all the support you'll get from the franchisor in all parts of your business. Realise that you'll go from being very experienced at managing parts of a business process to executing or managing all parts of running a business. Particularly in the first 12 months, you will need a lot of assistance getting your skills and knowledge base up to speed. Some systems are better on this account than others. At topfranchise we have surveyed franchisees in over 65 franchise businesses and looked closely at the support they provide. See the top 10 franchise business opportunities for support, and look into their detailed profiles to see aspects such as what their ratio of support staff to franchisees is and what initial and ongoing training they provide.
Next in your research of franchise business opportunities you should consider the lifestyle you are hoping to achieve. With your destiny in your control, you'll choose the hours you work. Ask existing franchisees how much effort is required to be the success you want to be.
When considering franchise business opportunities it is also important to be able to get passionate about the brand, the customers you will serve and the product that you will be involved with. For some people, having passion for the business they are involved in is paramount. If that is you, look for a brand and customer experience you can get excited about. In these challenging economic times, we have seen that having a passion for the business helps people get through tougher times, especially when getting the same financial returns can mean working longer hours than usual.
To put your passion to the test before signing the agreement, mystery shop the franchise business opportunities you are looking at and see if you can get passionate about what the customer is experiencing. Have a look at more than one franchisee since your experience may vary depending on the franchisee you are dealing with. Also talk to existing franchisees and see if they are positive and will be a positive peer group to work with. If you are close to your family, involve your family members and close friends in the decision and ask them what they think about the business you are looking at and if they will be supportive of the efforts you will put in to establish the business. When challenges arise, as they inevitably will you will need the support of family and a franchisee peer group who are positive.
Consider your ambitions. If you have worked your way up the corporate ladder and are now faced with a redundancy, chances are you have had a fair bit of ambition to get as high as you have. Once you have proven yourself, franchised businesses will often allow you to take on more franchise units and expand your business to a number of locations nearby. If you have a grand vision of growing beyond one location, consider whether the franchise you are looking at has locations available that are in close proximity to each other. While you are investigating this aspect of the business, you may also want to find out what programs they have in place to help you move from a single location to multiple locations, as it will require you to develop another skill set to make running multiple locations a success.
Given the economic climate we are in, consider if the franchise business opportunities you are looking at have been successful at adapting their offerings to the current economic climate. What is important to consumers has shifted dramatically in the last 12-18 months with the uncertainty of the share market, housing market, interest rates and now job market. Signs of a support office that is regularly in touch with its customers and able to adapt is that they do regular customer research and the leaders of the business get out and talk to the end customer on a frequent basis.
Last but certainly not least when doing your due diligence on franchise business opportunities, an essential question to ask existing franchisees is whether they would recommend being a franchisee not just to you, but to their friends or colleagues. This will sort out how confident they are in their franchise system. If they are confident enough in the business, they will be prepared to take the social risk of recommending the business to those that are close to them. We have done a lot of the hard work on gauging this confidence. Check out the top franchise business opportunities in different categories to see the cumulative response to whether franchisees would recommend their franchise system.
To see the performance of individual franchise business opportunities, go through the A-Z Franchise Listing section of this website and click on the franchise business opportunities you are interested in. Click here to see the number one franchise opportunity for support Souvlakihut , here for the number one franchise opportunity for lifestyle, Xpresso Delight and here for the number one franchise opportunity for passion, Mortgage Choice.