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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Franchise

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Starting a business and buying a franchise can both be quite rewarding for the business owner, but they’re not without opportunity for error. A multitude of factors come into play when becoming an entrepreneur, and within each opportunity are chances to make mistakes.

When starting a business from scratch, it can be easy to make mistakes, especially if it’s your first time going through the process. Mistakes can happen when choosing investors, sourcing products or materials, building the brand, investing in advertising, and during many other steps along the way.

Mistakes are also a possibility when buying a franchise. Learn more about six of the mistakes to avoid when becoming a franchise owner.

1.       Not doing your research

Before buying a franchise, it’s important to conduct extensive research. The very first decision you’ll make is perhaps the most significant—the decision to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and become a business owner. From there, you’ll decide on the franchise in which to invest by weighing your options and comparing details to determine the right fit for you. Review the franchise agreement or Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which includes conditions related to franchise ownership like the grant of franchise and term length, franchise cost including initial and ongoing fees, and operational requirements such as territory specifics, training schedule, and any other requirements.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the size of the franchise system, including what type of support may be included from the corporate office or from the franchise network. It’s also valuable to know how many locations already exist in your area to help you determine the likelihood for your potential location to stand out, or if it could possibly have too much brand dilution in the city or region.

Don’t make the mistake of not doing your research when buying a franchise or investing in any business opportunity.

2.       Rushing the hiring process

When staffing your franchise location, remember that you’re ultimately in charge of building your team. Don’t rush the hiring process; instead, seek quality candidates and leverage the interview process to really get to know the people who want to help build the franchise business. Ensure your prospective team members align with your business goals and have the potential to make a difference and contribute to the growth of your franchise location.

Making the mistake of rushing through the hiring process can lead to high turnover and decreased employee tenure, whereas allowing sufficient time for the process, and even building in time for mentoring employees, can help ensure the right fit and sustained growth.

3.       Not following the system

Franchise systems are built on a proven structure and established business practices. When you become a franchise owner, you gain access to that established system, which is designed to benefit both the franchise owner and the entire system and brand. While many franchise owners have specialized skills and bring a wealth of business acumen to the operation, it’s best to rely on the franchise system. Trying to overcome challenges on your own or stray too far from the established practices within the franchise framework can not only take a personal toll but also be counterproductive to your business goals.

4.       Thinking it’s a foolproof process

Although becoming a franchise owner includes having the business framework laid out for you, it still requires a significant amount of time and hard work (in addition to your financial investment) to prepare, open your doors, and build out your individual location. Opening a franchise allows owners to focus more time and effort into the operational aspects of the business as opposed to building the brand, evaluating marketing opportunities, and sourcing materials, as startups may experience. But it’s not without risk. Don’t think that just because you’ve invested in a franchise, that it’s a foolproof process.

5.       Not getting to know your community

When opening a franchise, you’re providing products and services to your local community. The people in your area have the potential to become a one-time customer or lifelong, loyal customers, and a lot of that depends on your interactions with them. Providing a superior customer experience should be one of your main goals, and in turn, those customers will return and perhaps even tell their friends and family.

Franchise owners with The UPS Store also pride themselves on getting involved further in their communities, from giving back through local charities like the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, local fundraisers, and helping other business owners by providing crucial small business services.

Retail owners like Ashwin Narayan know the value of community engagement and lives by the mantra, “take care of your employees first, as they will, in turn, take care of your customers.” With a strong desire to provide great customer service in his community, Ashwin ensures his The UPS Store location holds up to the highest standards to become a staple in his community.

Not getting to know the community is a mistake to avoid when opening a franchise, as you’ll need a solid, loyal customer base to grow. Remember also that a poor experience can not only affect your individual franchise location, but also the entire brand across all locations.

6.       Thinking you’re on your own

When buying a franchise, it’s a mistake to think that you’re on your own. One of the many benefits of becoming a franchise owner is being a part of a much larger team—a collaborate environment where all parties are contributing to the process, with the franchisor and franchisee working collaboratively to build the brand and the network.

At The UPS Store, a support system is built into the franchising process. While retail owners have a lot of flexibility in running their business, building their team, and much more, there is a franchise development team and corporate support available along the way. When challenges or issues arise, retail owners have a support system to consult to work through the challenge. A large franchise network of other owners is also a great resource to access. By working with other franchisees and the corporate team collaboratively, franchisee feedback and success stories can be incorporated into the process to keep the system strong. That way, each franchise owner contributes to the growth of the entire system, improving brand strength along the way.


Learn more about franchising opportunities with The UPS Store by contacting our franchise development team. Discuss the possibility of owning your own retail location and becoming a valuable part of The UPS Store network.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.