One of the first questions I usually receive when I speak with entrepreneurs is simply, “How much does it cost to own my own franchise business?” I assure them that there is no need to be intimidated by the costs of starting up, and instead I encourage them to take a closer look at the value and support they are getting back from the franchisor for their investment.
Here are some tips to navigate the costs of franchising:
When doing research, learn what you are really getting for your investment. The pursuit of the most intelligent investment that matches your entrepreneurial aspirations should rule the early process of researching franchise opportunities. The reality is that all franchisors are not created equal, and as a prospective franchise owner, you want to make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your investment. Any good franchisor will want to build a long-lasting relationship with you that is based on transparency and trust, and companies that outline what’s included in your investment should be at the top of your list.
Find what fits you and make sure you have ongoing support. If you are excited to run your own business, are motivated to put time and energy into your new franchise, and understand the need to follow the proven system that your franchisor provides so well, your investment will be more likely to grow. The experience of an excellent franchisor and fellow franchisees that will mentor and support you as you charge forward into entrepreneurship is invaluable. Excellent franchisors will provide continual training and support and not leave you to your own, unseasoned devices. Also, that the franchisor has negotiated lower prices for the products and services you will need to run your business is yet another valid reason the costs involved in solid franchising pay off.
Ultimately, franchise opportunities are plentiful but you must be cautious not to leap too easily at any sales pitch because the franchise costs need to be justified by the quality of the franchise. You need to be able to confidently say that your franchisor has a long history of successfully supporting its franchise owners – not just at startup – but continually, as a true mentor and a dedicated advocate for your business.
Dan Byers is Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International. He has been part of the Minuteman Press franchise system for over 17 years and is instrumental in supporting Minuteman Press franchise locations in the Southern California region.