Franchising allows an individual to expand his or her entrepreneurial experience without starting a new organization from the ground up. Buying into a business with an established brand and refined processes might seem like an easier path, but it comes with its own set of unique challenges. While this is an exciting process, franchisees must be cautious about proceeding too quickly and falling into common pitfalls that could have been avoided.
What are three mistakes a franchisee could make?
- Going with your gut: Far too often, professional individuals begin believing they have a sixth sense for success. They often feel as if they can sense whether a plan is solid or should be avoided. It is wise to do your research, however, by talking to other franchisees, investigating market trends, local competition strengths and the failures of past businesses. It is okay to take cues from your intuition, but only make decisions based on solid facts and hard evidence.
- Poor site selection: Choosing the wrong location for your franchise can doom the entire operation. You should visit potential locations on different days at different hours to gain a sense for foot traffic and consumer patterns. Is this spot accessible? Is it visible? Get to know the trends in the community itself.
- Staying isolated: It is wise to remember you are part of a successful franchise with proven procedures and marketing guidelines. You might feel you work better making independent decisions, but you could be ignoring a wealth of information. From having many franchisees who can provide anecdotal information to hard data provided by the franchise itself, use the information at your disposal to guide you through challenging situations.
Never assume that a franchise will automatically be successful based on the strength of the brand. While this might provide a sense of security and a head start against competition, the business must be organized and run with a careful attention to detail. Do not hesitate to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional when buying a franchise.