Buying A Franchise ExplainedBuying A Franchise Explained

Buying a franchise for most is the first step into the business world. However as buying a franchise is such an important decision to make how do you know which one to choose?

How do you know which franchise will suit your needs? Buying a franchise can offer a fantastic opportunity for you to change direction, do something new and exciting; however it is important to remember buying a franchise isn't a get rich quick solution.

I have been responsible for recruiting over 180 entrepreneurs who have all had that dream of working for themselves, achieving financial freedom and doing something they can be proud of. However at all times we stress to anyone who joined our network you have to put the hours in. You have to be willing to work hard and follow instructions and advise shared by the Franchisor.

Buying a franchise doesn't just mean success will follow.

The success of any Franchise company comes down to the training and support they offer their franchisees. The Franchisor must invest heavily into the training of its franchisees to get the best out of them.

This is a common mistake we see time and time again in this market when a new franchise offering is launched. It is clear for all to see the resources spent on developing a fantastic service or product. You can see the £1000's spent on marketing this product and demonstrating there is a need for it in the market place. However where too many Franchisors fall down is that they have not considered the training resources required to ensure the franchisees that will be delivering the goods and service know exactly what they should be doing.

At Activ we offer a 3-month training program to ensure all our franchisees understand exactly what is required when delivering our services to their marketplace. This 3 month training program evolves all the time to ensure we are meeting the needs of our franchisees. When looking at buying a franchise make sure you find out all about the training and support on offer.

The next point I want to discuss when buying a franchise is "make sure you speak to franchisees in the network you are looking to join"

Some franchisors will not disclose this information freely and if this has happened to you then you need to start asking the question why? What has the Franchisor got to hide?

Here at Activ we will allow anyone who is looking to join us the opportunity to speak to our franchisees. It is important you get a feeling of the type of company you are going to be joining. Make sure you ask questions that are going to assist you with your decision. The reality is not all franchisees you speak to will be achieving the figures you want to earn. However it is important if you ask questions such as "how much are you earning?" You qualify it with questions like, "how much time are you spending on the franchise? "

Common sense says the more time you spend on something the more you will earn, therefore make sure you receive accurate information when speaking to franchisees. The last thing you want to do is reject a franchise because you speak to a member in their network that informs you that they have only earned about 50% of the projected earnings, without finding out they have only worked out 50% of the time required to achieve the earnings you are looking to achieve.

Don't be afraid to ask difficult questions. Make the Franchisor's life uncomfortable, ask for evidence that supports what they are saying, don't get carried away with all the marketing material you are reading that might cloud your judgment when analyzing whether the franchise offering is correct for you. At Activ we have identified a clear relationship with franchisees who ask the most difficult of questions through the recruitment process and those that go on to achieve figures well and above our projected earnings. By being thorough and not leaving a stone unturned allows you to make informed and educated decisions when buying a franchise.

Another point you need to consider when buying a franchise is, can you see evidence of growth and development? Is the franchise company you are looking to invest into spending the money they have received to grow the brand. A question we hear all the time, is what is my initial fee spent on? Well here at Activ that fee goes towards the growth and development of the company. Every penny we receive goes back into the development of Activ, however can the same be said for other Franchisors? Ask franchisees in the network you are looking at joining on how they see things? Ask for information on how the company has grown since they started franchising. All this will allow you to decide whether the company you are looking at joining offers a good franchise opportunity.

Finally and by far the most important factor you need to consider when looking at buying a franchise is this. Do not think that by buying a franchise, that offers the best support, the best training, has a happy network of franchisees, a network that has grown will mean you will succeed. Yes all these factors play a massive part in ensuring you have every chance of succeeding, however one factor no franchisor can take into consideration is the franchisee it recruits.

Franchise companies all have their specific recruitment procedures to ensure they find the best possible candidate to operate their franchise, however these recruitment procedures do not guarantee success. Make sure you think long and hard and carry out further research on what is required to be successful in business before jumping head first into buying a franchise.

Being successful in business requires certain traits, certain personalities, yes these can be trained, however if you are someone who gives up easily and doesn't' have the determination to succeed and get what you want, maybe running your own business whether it be a franchise or your own business is not the correct route for you.

When I first started out in business the first business I set up did not work. I look back at it now and ask myself what the hell was I doing. At 24 I thought it would be a great idea to offer advice to established business owners on the theories of psychology into the workplace. Motivational theories were my specialist subject I has studied it at University and lectured in this subject. As I knew the theory behind business motivation I thought I would be able to walk straight into businesses and start offering my services. After about 3 months of getting nowhere, I decided to call it a day, however at no point did I ever think I to give up on achieving that dream of working for myself.

The next step I took is the step you are considering now. I decided to buy a franchise. Buying a franchise allowed me to learn many factors about business that would have taken me years to learn elsewhere. After operating this franchise for a period of time I decided to move onto bigger and better things by setting up on my own business. This business is called Activ and due to the success achieved by offering low cost websites to SME's it was franchised in 2008.

Whatever your reasons for buying a franchise make sure you consider everything I have discussed here and make sure the decision is right for you.

Good luck on your search in finding the right franchise opportunity that suits your requirements.
by Simon Rickett
References and Bibliography
Simon Rickett is a Director at Activ Web Design, one of the UK's leading web design companies with over 1000 clients and a network of franchisees across the UK. To find out more about Activ Web Design and the franchise opportunity visit our website Activ Web Design
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