Posted on 9 July 2014
According to the latest NatWest/bfa Franchise Survey, the franchise industry is growing strong with the estimated annual turnover of the UK franchise sector at £13.7 billion – a 20% growth over the recession. But with 930 active franchises to choose from, how do you pick the right one? What are the characteristics of a good franchise?
Starting a franchise is a huge personal investment – not just in capital but also in time. A good franchisor will recognise that they also have an investment in your business – after all, a franchisor only benefits if its franchisees are successful. During all the stages of your journey as a franchisee, from the initial enquiry to your exit planning, a good franchisor will invest time in helping you to improve your business and making sure that you reach all of your objectives. Equally, they should invest resources into training, product development, improved business systems and marketing. If a franchisor is investing in their business – for themselves and their franchisees – they will have a proven business format that has been tried, tested and established. Click to read what existing in-toto franchisees have to say about the experience.
Training & Support
A good franchisor will have a genuine on-going interest in your business and it should have a strong system in place to support you. Don’t be afraid to ask for full details of the training offered before you sign up, together with a clear breakdown of how it is delivered. People choose to start a franchise business for many different reasons and they don’t necessarily have previous experience in the particular sector they choose to join. A successful franchise will have the resources and ability to teach you the specific skills required for the business and you should feel confident in this if you are to sign a franchise agreement. Click here to discover our ongoing in-toto training package.
Affiliations and accreditations are a good indicator that the franchise is following sound practice. If the franchisor is a member of the bfa, you know they have been independently measured using established membership criteria against a code of ethical franchising. You can also look for other trade associations that offer a ‘kite mark’ of credibility in that particular industry. Most business sectors will have relevant authorising bodies that regulate standards and it’s not only a good sign for you as a prospective franchisee but it also offers peace of mind to your potential customers.
A franchise should always be transparent. A good franchisor will encourage you to speak to the other people in the network and will be happy for you to do your research on the company.
Whilst a good franchisor will be comfortable with you doing your research on them, they should also be doing their own research. Don’t be put off if the franchisor asks you lots of questions and requires personal information. A good franchise will be just as serious about making sure you’re a good franchisee as you are about validating their claims. If one irresponsible franchisee damages the brand, it affects everyone else who has invested with them. A careful franchise will protect its business model and this should give you confidence.
Research is the key to every businesses success and it shouldn’t stop. Whether the franchise you’re interested in is selling a product or a service, the franchisor should be continually investing in the development of its offering and performing regular market research to ensure the business is matched to its consumers’ demands. Click to read about our recent customer profiling.
Whilst it is important to remember when you become a franchisee that you are responsible for driving your own business - this includes learning about local advertising and PR opportunities – a good franchisor will take responsibility on a national level with marketing campaigns to help build the brand profile and reputation for all. Excellent POS and promotional literature should be included in your agreement, as well as a strong website. Click to read about the marketing support in-toto provides.
Lead by example
Overall, a good franchise will never ask you to do something that they are not also prepared to do. Click to read about in-toto company owned studios.
When you have invested in a sound business model, the franchisor should match what they expect you to do – with training, research, support and marketing.
After all, a good franchise will know that they have invested in you too.
Find out even more about joining the in-toto family and setting up your new business. If you'd like to talk anything through, please give us a call on 0113 3608 729.Download our Franchise Brochure