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Starting A Franchise Can Be Difficult

May 22, 2008
Franchising can provide a middle ground between starting your own independent business and working full-time for somebody else. Despite there being a lot of advantages to franchising, it takes a lot of commitment, capital and time. Not everyone is cut out to be a franchisee so it is important to think about your suitability before beginning your search for an appropriate franchise business. It is only at this point, then, you can be sure that taking on a franchise is right for you, and that you take on the right franchise.

An important fact to remember before buying into any franchise is to do your research well. You firstly need to determine if the franchise fits into your business style. If you are not interested or unable to provide creative input into the business you are running, then this will cause many problems later on. It is just as important to conduct a thorough analysis of the market before choosing your franchise or your location.

After you have short-listed the franchise opportunities that you may be interested in, locate a copy of the company's Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC). This is a detailed document offering critical components of the franchise and their offer to potential franchisees. It is necessary for a franchisee to understand this in its totality. Also, take notes of the areas that may seem confusing, in order to later seek out clarification.

Many franchisees begin a negative relationship with the franchisor due to the UFOC not being clearly thought about by the franchisee. They often misunderstand their role and responsibilities in relation to the whole process.

In order to gain good relationships and a smooth start to the franchise, the franchisee needs to identify exactly what they are not clear in understanding, gain clarification, and obtain all of their responsibilities in writing.

You will be able to obtain a lot of information from conducting on-site visits and also talking to current as well as former franchisees. Ask your prospective franchisor for a complete list of all the franchisees in the network. This will lead you to information you would not necessarily obtain from any legal document or agreement so it is worthwhile looking beyond this.

Most franchisors have select franchisee outlets that are on their 'tour' list for potential franchisees. After visiting these, perhaps go on along to other franchisee outlets that are not on the list as this will allow you to gain a real insight into what it would be like working for this particular franchise. Visit successful outlets as well as those perhaps not doing so well. By doing this, you will establish the reasons for failure, therefore providing valuable knowledge beforehand into issues to be avoided if you are to succeed.

Even if you are considering buying into a well-established franchise, it will take time before you start making any profits. You should take into consideration family budgeting and various pre-opening costs as well as operating costs and save sufficient funds to keep you going during the time it takes for your business to take off.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.unitymarketing.com where you can find help on starting a business
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