Franchise 101 – The Official Franchise Start-up Checklist

date icon 4 minutes to read date icon 27th July, 2021

Don’t Skip Steps!

If you’re contemplating investing in a franchise, you first need to read our all-inclusive franchise checklist. Below, you’ll find all you need to know about researching franchisors, assessing agreements, marketing your business, and so much more.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be fully prepared for the tasks ahead.

Pre-launch

1. Evaluate Your Skills & Financials

The first step on our franchise checklist involves a personal evaluation. What does this mean? Simply stated, you should reflect on your current skills, and your ambitions for the future. You must be honest with yourself – are you prepared to take on a customer-facing role? Will you be committed to achieving the standards set by a franchisor? What relevant qualifications do you possess? These are just some of the questions you must ask yourself. Once you’ve answered them you’ll be able to begin the process of researching franchise opportunities. Remember, your short-list should only feature opportunities that are within industries that you’re interested in.

With regards to your finances: assess how much capital you can realistically afford to invest. Although bear in mind that it’s possible that you’ll be able to apply for a substantial bank loan which could cover up to 70% of any franchise investment.

2. Carry Out Research

Before you enter talks with any franchisors you must carry out thorough market and industry research. Your goal should be to find a business model that you can easily follow.

It could be argued that the simplest way of identifying the best opportunities is to use a franchise evaluation checklist. These lists include steps such as determining whether a given franchisor has a history of success, if there’s sustained demand for the products and services they offer, and the estimated profitability of a new franchise established within their network. The more boxes you can tick for a franchisor, the more likely it is that they’re right for you.

3. Attend Discovery Days

After you’ve got a shortlist of possibilities you can start sending enquiries to the respective franchisors. They’ll respond to you quickly and offer you the chance to attend a ‘Discovery Day’ – this is usually an in-person meeting between a potential franchisee and a franchisor at the brand’s head office.

During this sit-down, you’ll be able to ask any questions and find out whether the particular franchise opportunity would be a good fit for you. You should make sure to ask about the training and assistance you can expect to receive – ongoing support will raise your chances of success. On top of this, you’ll also be given the contact details of several existing franchisees. These current partners will be able to give you a clear idea of what would be expected of you from day to day.

4. Carefully Assess the Franchise Agreement

If you’re happy with what you learn during the discovery day and your talks with existing franchisees, you can proceed to the agreement phase. But don’t commit until you’re sure that you’re comfortable with what’s involved. These contracts contain many stipulations, and you must comply with them all during your time as a franchisee. What’s more, you must confirm that you’re happy with the investment requirements. What do you need to know? A franchise purchase checklist would encompass the initial franchise fee, start-up expenses, ongoing charges, and so on. You’ll need to know precisely what they all are.

It’s important to realise that you can enlist a seasoned professional to help you evaluate the agreement – learn the benefits of using a franchise consultant.

Post-launch

1. Recruit the Right People

Recruitment would be an essential step on any franchise checklist. Why? It’s simple. You can’t succeed unless you have suitably skilled, driven professionals around you. To make this process easier, you’ll need to draw up a detailed recruitment and training plan that will lead to the employment of staff members you can trust. Your franchisor will be able to advise you as to what your ideal employee profile should be. This will include an age range, previous qualifications, and experience.

2. Effectively Market Your Business

To make your enterprise profitable, you must first breakthrough to your target audience. Your franchisor will be able to provide you with guidance and refined materials, but ultimately it’ll be your responsibility to attract potential customers.

However, you needn’t worry. Instead of going it alone, you can enlist a marketing agency to help you. For example, Franchise Fame offers a number of expert digital marketing services to raise your online profile, as well as several offline initiatives such as a direct mail marketing service that’s designed to attract customers in specific areas – like your exclusive, geographically defined territory.

3. Manage Your Operation

Running a franchise will require you to manage your staff, market your business, and achieve the standards that your parent company has become known for. Depending on the specific network you’re a part of, you may need to perform services personally, or you might need to delegate them to your staff. Furthermore, you’re likely to have to meet certain targets that your franchisors set in terms of revenue. This means that it’ll be your job to ensure that every aspect of your business is performing at the highest level.

4. Handle Your Finances

The final step on our franchise checklist – ensuring that you maintain the level of capital you need to keep your business running, and your employees paid. You must monitor and handle your financial resources, and use funds for different marketing and recruitment purposes as necessary.

Need Further Guidance?

Since you’ve now read our franchise startup checklist you can begin the process of researching potential franchise opportunities in earnest. Of course, if you’d like a helping hand in this endeavour, you can reach out to Franchise Fame.