Once you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur, there are numerous considerations before you open your business. Learn about how to evaluate a franchise opportunity.
Opening a small business comes with certain risks, whether you choose to start from scratch with your own business concept or become part of an established franchise system with a strong brand name and reliable corporate support. Taking the first step toward becoming an entrepreneur is making the informed decision to pursue becoming your own boss, which brings with it many benefits and advantages.
There are many reasons why a person chooses to pursue entrepreneurship: the freedom it allows in your schedule and in making business decisions, the better work/life balance it affords and the potential financial advantages it may bring. Some individuals simply want to create something for themselves and not be employed by anyone else. Whatever the reason for becoming an entrepreneur, the risks and benefits must be considered thoroughly before making such a potentially life-changing business decision.
Entrepreneurs typically share common traits—they’re motivated, innovative, diligent, dedicated, ambitious and independent, but simply having these traits are not enough. Finding the right business opportunity that suits your interests and lifestyle are also important. If you’re determined to start something for yourself and are beginning to consider your options, opening a franchise should be at the top of your list.
Evaluating a Franchise Opportunity
When you’ve decided to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and pursue franchise ownership, there are several considerations that should be taken into account. Factors like brand reputation, financial performance, franchise cost, corporate support, franchise community and how well the opportunity fits into your own life and values should all be weighed, among many other factors.
One of the major advantages of franchising is investing in an already-established, strong brand name. Everything from a consumer’s perception of the brand to their experiences in a physical location and beyond all factor into a brand’s reputation. When you’re evaluating a franchise opportunity, look at how the brand ranks overall, how the franchise opportunity stacks up compared to others and how it ranks within its own industry or area of expertise.
The UPS Store has consistently ranked among the very best in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list, leading the business services category in 2021 and ranking as the No. 3 brand overall.
Due diligence is a broad term that means researching the risks and potential advantages of a particular business opportunity to help ensure you’re making a sound investment and ease any doubts you may have in pursuing it further. Carefully review finances, legal documents, and operational specifics that could help uncover any deal-breakers that may not be initially evident.
While you’re evaluating franchise opportunities, it’s also important to review the franchise agreement, which includes conditions related to franchise ownership like the grant of franchise and term length, franchise cost including initial and ongoing fees and operation requirements such as territory specifics, training and operations requirements.
Evaluating a franchise opportunity should also include learning what type of support is available to franchisees. Does the brand provide hands-on training and other resources to help retail owners get started? Is there financial support available? What type of advertising and marketing support is provided with franchise ownership? Are there additional services or discounts available to potential owners?
The UPS Store is proud to offer corporate support to its franchise system from day one, which continues throughout your journey as a The UPS Store owner. Programs focused on veteran ownership and diverse retail ownership are also available.
Franchise Owner Network
After you’ve reviewed the franchise opportunity on paper, it’s a great idea to speak to other franchise owners within the brand network. Ask them questions like why they enjoy franchising with that particular brand, how their experience has materialized versus what they initially expected, what challenges they have encountered and what kind of flexibility is involved in owning a franchise. Those questions and conversations will help any prospective owner get a feel for the aspects of running the franchise business that may not otherwise be apparent.
For many retail owners with The UPS Store, the ability to make a difference in the community is one of the major advantages of franchising. Not only do owners hire locally and develop talent from within their store locations, but they also help other small business owners with services like professional printing, shipping, direct mail services, mailbox services and expert packing.
Retail owners are also heavily involved in giving back through charitable efforts. Retail owner Ted Phillips is very active within his local community and with local charities, teaming up with an AHL team to auction off hockey sticks to benefit a children’s organization, as well as advocating for childhood literacy and sponsoring a scholarship program for a local high school.
The vast network of current The UPS Store retail owners can also serve as inspiration to an aspiring retail owner. Maya Warrier owns a retail store while also working part-time as a lawyer, real estate investor and a mom to four children. Leanne Dobard Alvarez lends her support and leadership to several organizations and charities in her community and believes in the value of a positive, can-do attitude.
Speaking with some of the other franchise owners within a network can have valuable results, which certainly factor into a decision to pursue a franchise opportunity. You may also want to get a feel for their level of personal fulfillment, their typical schedule and other areas such as mentorship opportunities and team development.
When evaluating the advantages and potential disadvantages of a franchise opportunity, you’ll also want to determine if it’s a fit for your own personal values and lifestyle. Can you see yourself as part of the franchise system? Are you aligned with the mission and values of the brand? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of your team and in your community? What are your goals for work/life balance?
Retail owners at The UPS Store come from all walks of life with varied backgrounds, careers and lifestyles. There is no “typical owner” per se, but all share the same determination and passion for entrepreneurship that contributes to their franchise experience. Their drive and desire to serve continue to make a difference to their families and their communities.
Learn more about opportunities with The UPS Store and contact our franchise development team to discuss the possibility of owning your own franchise location.