Steps to Opening a Franchise
The typical franchise buying process progresses through 10 steps. When you partner with the Franchise Doctor. We help you prepare for these steps and become a trusted adviser throughout the process.
- Research the Industry. Review the franchisor’s brochures and evaluate your interest in participating in the industry. Determine what will be your personal job description. Are you sure you’re suited to that type of work, 40, 50 or 60 hours per week?
- Submit an Application or Qualification Sheet. Most franchisors want to understand your interests better before they advance much further. While this doesn’t bind either party, it will prove your desire to be evaluated for franchise ownership.
- Review Disclosure Documents. The government asks each franchisor to prepare these documents (usually 50+ pages) so that you can get a complete understanding of the offering.
- Develop Questions for the Franchisor. The marketing representative will be happy to share additional information with you to help you reach the right decision.
- Call or Visit Existing Franchisees. These owners were on the same path you’re now walking a year or two ago. Most will be very helpful in discussing the viability of their industry and the franchisor. See the list of questions in the next section. Note that they start with generalities and become more specific after you develop rapport.
- Meet the Franchisor. Most feel best with a face to face meeting with the decision makers of the franchisor. Evaluate their sincerity. You’re not going to marry them–but it is mighty close. Ask them pointed questions about franchisees that failed. Could you join that group? Does the management team respect all the members of the network–or just the superstars?
- Choose a Potential Site. You may want to explore sites that seem suitable for your venture, understanding that most franchisors will have the right to OK or disapprove your choice before a lease is signed. If site is critical to your success, be sure to obtain demographic studies and compare these with outstanding existing franchisees.
- Execute the Franchise Agreement. Two weeks must elapse between the date you receive your disclosure documents and signing the Franchise License. Don’t let anyone rush you–but begin making critical decisions in a timely manner–a critical skill for an entrepreneur.
- Attend Training. The franchisor’s school will be your next step in joining the network. Go rested, with an open mind. Absorb and make the commitment to follow their plan–You paid for it, now, use it!
- Grand Opening. When you return home, you’ll be set to equip your operation, hire and train your staff and open for business. At this point your future is growing brighter because the person with the most to gain–you–is finally in charge of your success!!