The Top 3 Hurdles to Owning a Franchise

As President and owner of the Sparkle Wash franchise organization, I’ve spoken with hundreds of candidates throughout my 20 years. Each candidate has a unique story as to why franchising is a good choice for them. But they also have something else in common; the following three hurdles:


Hurdle #3 – Picking the Right Franchise Model

When you’re faced with over 3,000 different franchises to choose from, picking the right one can feel like a daunting ordeal. All of us want to find the perfect business opportunity, one that fulfills all your hopes and dreams, one that fills bank account with money! But before you start looking, take inventory on what’s really important – you.

  • How much money can you invest and how much would you like to make in the first year and long term
  • List your skills, experiences and interests
  • Make a list of your past jobs and think about what you liked best and least about them
  • Rank yourself on a 1 -5 scale on the following skills:
    • Marketing
    • Sales
    • Problem Solving Skills
    • Basic Accounting Knowledge
    • Basic Computer Knowledge
  • Are you comfortable managing others or do you prefer to work alone?
  • What role will your family play? How will owning a franchise affect your lifestyle?
  • Do you like to work with your hands? Do you prefer an indoor or outdoor work environment?

If you answered honestly, this should help narrow your search!

Hurdle #2 – Money

This hurdle was voted “most likely to keep you up at night”. You might be concerned that you will have to wipe out your savings or rainy day fund in order to purchase a franchise, but that doesn’t need to be the case. First, don’t venture into a franchise deal if you really don’t have the cash and equity needed to fund a successful business model, take more time to secure your finances. If you are financially qualified, ask the franchisor to see Article 7 in their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) which should list out all the costs associated with opening and running the franchise business. If the franchisor is not forthcoming with that information, turn and run for the exit door! A reputable franchisor will be open and honest when communicating the upfront and operating costs. Don’t forget to ask about on-going marketing programs and on-line strategy. Once you have this information there are plenty of ways to acquire additional funding if necessary. Ask the franchisor if they have any in-house discounts, I know we offer a special package discount for Veterans and are members of Minority FRAN. Download our free Guide to Franchise Ownership to learn more about discount programs and finance options.

And the #1 Hurdle is FEAR

The fear of failure can be overwhelming and in some cases an individual would rather do nothing than enter into a situation where failure is a possibility. So let’s think about how you view failure; is it the “beginning of the end” or is it an “opportunity to try again with a different approach”? Am I capable of running a business? Can I attract customers? Can I earn enough money? Can I support my family? Or do you fear of making a decision to soon, or need to wait until everything is perfect; the perfect product, the perfect economy, the perfect team. Here is a little advice: At no time is everything perfect. Decisions have to be made based on the resources and information at hand.

As long as you view obstacles as learning experiences, you will succeed in your business venture. Much like life, your franchise business will take on a whole new set of obstacles, but even more reward.

If you have any questions about franchise ownership please either email me or call me at 800-371-0770.

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