Owning a franchise

After two and a half years of the pandemic, many people have re-assessed their working life and looked at buying a business. A franchise often seems like a good option as you have an existing brand and structure off which to leverage.  Buying any business requires careful consideration and it is important to do your due diligence and investigate the business properly. The same goes for a franchise. However, if you are the right sort of person for a franchise operation and pick the right franchise, being a franchisee can indeed be the path to success.

Being part of a strong franchise could offer some significant support during tough times like we have seen recently. The support could come in any form, such as savings because of the buying power of the franchise owner, marketing capabilities of the franchise owner or lease negotiations on properties that were not being fully utilised during this period.

Should you be looking to join a franchise, this article will set our certain factors that you should consider before doing so.

Make sure you have adequate funding or resources available

When looking to join a franchise, you need to understand that it is not the cheapest thing to do. There may be a lot less risk to joining a franchise than opening your own business from scratch but joining a franchise does come a cost. The more established and well know the franchise is, the more expensive it is likely to be.

Understand the franchise by doing your research

It is important not to join the first franchise that catches your eye or the one that seems to have it all together. Also, do not join a franchise simple because you like the product. It is vital to conduct thorough research to understand the franchise you will be joining and to determine whether you agree with and will fit in with their philosophy. Joining a franchise without doing your homework could be very costly.

Understand the intricacies of a franchise

When starting the process of joining a franchise, you will be faced with a lot of paperwork and terminologies that you may not be familiar with or used to. It is important to get an understanding of what these mean and what your responsibilities are before you join a franchise.

You may not necessarily be your own boss

Once you have decided which franchise you would like to join it is important to understand the “term of engagement”. With any well establish or reputable franchise, there is likely to be many different dos and don’ts. Being part of a franchise comes with a lot of rules and you need to be sure that you are willing to abide by these rules. You might not be able to make your own decisions.

Commit to the brand

Once your franchise is up and running, it is important to commit yourself fully to the franchise. By simply joining a well-established franchise, it does not mean that the business will just flow, it requires a lot or hard work and long hours. However, if all franchisees work as hard as is needed, it will only grow the strength of the brand, which in turn will only benefit you.

Get involved

When being part of a franchise, I would recommend getting involved. Many franchisors will have a franchisee committee or forum or regular meetings with the franchisees. I believe it is important to join in on these discussions and give your input.

Michael Steenkamp

Audit Director, Johannesburg

Michael Steenkamp is a Director in the Audit division at RSM South Africa. He has extensive experience in audit and business consulting across various sectors. He is also the Head of IFRS in the Johannesburg office.

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