The decision to pursue franchise ownership should not be taken lightly. The path to becoming a successful franchisee is not inconsequential – it requires hard work and dedication. While you’re likely to reap many benefits, owning a business also comes with sacrifice. Choosing a franchise with a support system you can rely on through this journey will go a long way toward running a thriving business.
Keep in mind that the quantity and quality of support will vary widely between franchises. A franchise’s size, culture, and industry are just a few of the factors dictating the level of support that’s provided.
Fortunately, you won’t find yourself in a position wondering what kind of support you’re going to receive once all the paperwork is signed and you’re officially running your business. The franchise agreement will painstakingly detail the support a franchisee can expect from the franchise’s corporate office. You will have everything you need to make a well-informed decision.
9 Important Ways Franchisors Provide Support to Franchise Owners
A franchise has already figured out what it takes to be profitable and how to replicate that with each new location. This alone increases the chance of success for a franchise business owner. Furthermore, franchisees have a unique advantage as business owners because of the type of support franchisors provide. While the level of support will differ from franchise to franchise, you can generally expect that a franchisor will assist you in the following ways:
1. Offers Validation – Validation is the process of relying on your fellow franchisees to guide you through the early months of operation. It is sometimes a formal operation, with pre-set times to discuss, share, and present problems. Other times, it’s an informal pick-up-the-phone-and-ask setup.
2. Access to Supplies – Joining a franchise that already has an established relationship with suppliers means reduced costs on essential supplies. Saving money in this way only contributes to a franchisee’s success. Small businesses outside of a franchise network often find that their supplies are costly because they don’t have the leverage needed to negotiate with suppliers.
3. Help with Training – Franchise training programs have a significant impact. In addition to the initial training that a franchisee receives, franchisors often continue to provide training periodically throughout the year. Franchisees will learn how to effectively operate their business and meet their goals all in accordance with the franchise’s guidelines.
4. Boost Marketing & Promotional Efforts – The entire franchise network benefits from the brand recognition that comes with opening a new franchise location. Along with marketing materials, franchisors often provide strategy advice while helping launch local and national marketing campaigns. They also typically assist with a franchisee’s grand opening as they know exactly what to do to get people excited about the business.
5. Offers Financial Assistance – A franchisee’s success contributes to the franchisor’s success, which means it’s in the franchisor’s best interest to provide financial assistance in some cases. A couple of ways to do this include: 1) helping franchisees negotiate their loan terms or shortening the loan approval process and 2) waiving fees or offering deals for a short period of time if needed.
6. Provide Administrative Support – Some franchisors provide HR support, accounting services, and/or technical support in order to help their franchisees run an organized and effective business.
7. Help Find a Location – Location is key when starting a new franchise, and the success of your business could depend on it. Using applicable data, franchisors will help franchisees choose a spot that is likely to be profitable while avoiding areas with too much competition.
8. Protocols & Standards – A franchise provides valuable oversight to franchisees in the following ways:
- Overall Operations – A franchise will provide a standardized manual and will expect every franchise owner to uphold the brand’s standards. This predictability helps create a strong company culture among the employees.
- Technological Oversight – A franchise will keep up to date with the latest technology whether that be computer networking, mobile apps, accounting software, or something else. They will then see to it that franchisees incorporate this technology to run their business more efficiently.
- In Field Support – A field representative is assigned to a particular region and is tasked with helping franchisees solve problems and achieve success.
9. Gives Ongoing Communication – The relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee will continue after signing the franchise agreement. A couple of ways include:
- Business Coaching – Field representatives are more than just problem-solvers for franchisees. They also proactively visit franchise locations to ensure the business is working effectively and meeting brand standards.
- Annual Conventions – Franchises typically arrange meetings once or twice a year where all franchisees gather and have the opportunity to connect with each other. They also receive training and support at these conventions.
4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Franchise Support
A franchisor’s role in supporting franchisees is critical to everyone’s success in the long run. Here are a few tips to follow in order to maximize the value of your franchise’s support.
- Is the Level of Support Offered a Main Selling Point of the Franchise? – Franchisors want each franchise location to succeed, so they will often go out of their way to make sure potential franchisees know what kind of support they will receive. If support isn’t a main selling point, that could be a potential red flag.
- Get Nit-Picky With Your Questions – Make sure you leave no stone unturned when seeking to understand the type of support you will receive from the franchise. It’s important to join a franchise with full confidence that they will have your back.
- Talk With Franchisees of That System – A few questions to ask include:
- What type of support do they receive?
- Has support from the franchise made a difference in the success of their business?
- If they could go back, would they work with the same franchise again?
- Become An Active Participant of Your Franchise Brand – Don’t isolate yourself from the franchise network. Keep up-to-date on informative news and updates the franchise provides, and participate in the annual or bi-annual meetings. Not only does this build communal support among the franchisees, but it keeps a helpful dialogue open between the corporate and the franchisee.
Additional Sources of Support for Franchisees
While a franchise’s support is crucial for franchisees, the following avenues are helpful additions to that support.
- Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) – Typically organized by the franchisor, these advisory councils are designed to meet the needs of the brand and its family of franchisees. Franchise advisory councils are usually comprised of individual franchise owners and operators with a lot of experience and success. An invitation to join should never be declined!
- Local Business Associations – Local business associations can help franchisees navigate restrictive business practices and regulations unique to their area. The Chamber of Commerce is an example of a business association that can provide advice and solutions to local business issues that arise.
- SCORE – This is a mentoring group that provides free business advice. They are made up of experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives that can help you start and grow your business.
- America’s SBDC – This is a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers. There are nearly 1,000 local centers that offer no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to new and existing businesses.
- Franchise Consultant – A franchise consultant is an integral part of your support team. FranNet’s consultants are franchise experts, and they act as your one-stop shop for all franchise information and services at no cost to you.
- Franchise Lawyer – An attorney specializing in laws and regulations related to franchising is a huge asset to a new franchise owner seeking to make an informed purchasing decision.
- Franchise Accountant – When working on the financial part of buying a franchise, it’s helpful to pursue advice from someone who is familiar with the unique fees associated with franchises like royalty fees, initial fees, and marketing fees.
- Your Family – Your family can have a powerful effect on whether you become a successful business owner. Starting a new franchise requires a significant investment of time and money, and being able to count on your family for support carries a lot of weight.
Looking For a Franchise That Offers Great Support?
Are you ready to pursue business ownership? FranNet can help you learn about all of your options for buying a franchise so that you can find the perfect fit. Our experienced network of franchise consultants will provide you with resources and guidance every step of the way. What are you waiting for? Schedule your free consultation today!