Mistakes are a part of life. However, so is learning from mistakes. But if you could learn from the mistakes of others rather than your own, wouldn’t you?
Let’s look at some common mistakes individuals make when exploring and investing in a franchise in order that you avoid them and improve your chances of success within your new business.
Mistake 1: Not Learning About Life as a Franchisee
While you have instincts for a reason, when investing in a franchise, relying solely on your instincts is not necessarily the best decision. Rather than just trusting your instincts, which could land you in hot water with your franchisor, landlord or tenant, choose to learn all you can before you finalize any agreement.
That said, always trust your gut and dig into what may be giving you that bad feeling. Talk with other franchisees. Ask them to share with you a day in the life of a franchisee. As well, speak with other tenants in the shopping center where you’re considering a lease. For both parties, ask whether they would do it again?
Knowledge is power. By learning from a leader within the franchise organization, as well as doing as much research as possible about the franchise before you dive in head-first, you are positioning yourself (and your franchise) for success by providing yourself with the tools necessary in case something goes awry. Ask franchisees how issues and disagreements have been addressed in the past. Same for tenants.
Mistake 2: Rushing Your Due Diligence
Slow and steady can still win the race, including in franchising. While you might be eager to get started as soon as possible, there may be moments where more time—and patience—is prudent.
For example, when choosing a location for your business, never allow yourself to be in such a rush that you choose a bad location or even fail to negotiate not only best rate per square foot but also tenant improvement allowance and other benefits such as free rent. Look to the future by checking current visibility and try to determine if there’s a possibility of that visibility being blocked, maybe by a new building on a pad site along the property’s outer rim or heaven forbid, road construction. Often, plans for both are made well in advance.
Mistake 3: Not Following and Trusting in the Process
Remember, you are making an investment in a franchise. And, when you do so, you’re making an investment in that franchise’s brand, processes and procedures. Understand what that means and what you’ll need to do to adhere to operations manuals regarding the same. It’s a huge responsibility that may carry some significant liabilities if you’re not in compliance.
You will want to make certain before you finalize your investment, to be sure to fully understand responsibilities, both of yourself and the franchisor. Read the small print closely and carefully so that you are fully on board when you sign on the dotted line(s). This applies to all agreements – lease, equipment, suppliers, etc. Remember, it’s difficult to put toothpaste back in the tube. So, be diligent on the front end of all transactions and heed the age-old advice of haste makes waste.
“When it comes to business success, there’s no room for half measures. If you want to succeed, you must go for it with everything you have. Hold nothing back. Give it your all. Then watch just how high you can fly!” – Jim Connolly Marketing Blog