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A Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Franchise

A Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Franchise

Read on for a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to start a successful franchise.

Starting your own franchise is a great option if you want to achieve independence, flexibility, and satisfaction in business. It can provide professionals an opportunity to earn a comfortable income while being their own boss. This appeal has led to the continued growth in the franchise business. A franchise outlook report for 2016 from the International Franchise Association forecasts an increase in franchise establishments and franchise employment in 2016. This growth outpaces the rate for many other types of businesses, perhaps because of the limitless potential for success and franchisee benefits.

Success in franchising requires a lot of dedication and planning. It may not be the best idea just to pick your favorite pizza brand or gym you go to and empty your savings into opening your own location. To find long term success more quickly, it is critical to take the right preparations.

Before applying for a loan and signing a contract, make sure you are ready for the commitment that lies ahead. The checklist below will guide you through some suggested background information you need to acquire before opening a franchisee business. Make sure to think each step through to better set yourself up for the benefits of your investment.

Assess Your Ability to Run a Business 

As with any business venture, opening a franchise comes with some risk. Are you qualified to mitigate those risks and do you feel prepared to overcome franchisee challenges? Unfortunately, failure is a possibility when starting your own business, so it’s important to ask yourself the following questions before making your decision to buy into a franchise:

  • Have you considered the business and operational training support that a franchise should supply to ready you for maintaining your business?
  • Do you have the time to put in the necessary research and dedication required to get the business up and running?
  • Could you run the business by yourself if you didn’t have any employees?
  • Are you financially prepared to recover in case your business venture doesn’t work out?
  • Do your background and education provide skills that can help you with your business management?

Not having experience in business or operations doesn’t mean you won’t succeed as a franchisee. If you partner with a franchisor like The UPS Store, you will be better prepared by receiving extensive, hands-on training before ever opening your doors. This, mixed with advanced independent research of the franchise’s goods and services, will give you a leg up on successful management.

Consider the Potential Costs of Being a Franchisee

Whether you decide to try to get a loan or tap into your personal savings, starting a franchise does require capital to get up and running. In addition to paying for inventory and a rental space or building, costs you may also have to pay include operating licenses, insurance, accounting services, signage, legal aid or marketing expenses.

Before getting too far into the process, take an account of your current financial situation. You can do this by totaling up all of your assets and liabilities and then find the difference. That answer is your net worth, which most franchisors will need to know before awarding you a franchise (there is usually a minimum requirement). When starting out, keep in mind that it may take time to turn a profit, as you will have to pay yourself back for your investment before you can start counting gains. Once you have picked a franchise, create an estimate for what your first year of operating expenses should be (the parent company and other franchisees may be able to provide insight on this) so you can try to stay on top of your spending.

If you are ready to move forward with a franchise opportunity but don’t have the cash on hand, The UPS Store franchise offers special financing options to make sure you start your new business off on the right foot.

Do Adequate Research 

This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s also one of the most important ones. When you first start your exploration into franchising, don’t just pick the first option that comes up in your web search. Read reviews, explore requirements and take note of everything provided by the franchisor in exchange for an investment.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few options, dive into more extensive research. Visit different locations and talk to someone on each franchisor’s development team. Find out what franchisee benefits are supplied that make that brand better than another. For example, opening a The UPS Store means access to marketing materials, location-selection assistance, an industry-leading business model, and convenient financing. These things aren’t available with every brand. Do your due diligence to make sure you pick a franchisor that offers the support you need.

Talk to Other Franchisees 

This step is simple – talk to current franchisees to get a feel for the relationship and assistance offered by their parent company. Ask them what difficulties they faced when getting started, as well as the amount of work they put in to get off the ground. Find out why they picked their location and what operational and business challenges they have faced. See if they feel adequately supported by their franchisor and the community it created. Lastly, ask if they enjoy what they do and whether the reward was worth the investment.

Choose the Right Franchise

After assessing your individual situation and researching your top options, it all comes down to deciding which is the best franchise for you. No matter how hard you work, the success of the brand as a whole is a major player in whether you will meet your goals. Pick a franchise that offers the support and resources you believe will be most beneficial for you as an owner and manager. Consider not just what the brand offers in terms of training, tools, and financial requirements, but also the competition, demand for the company’s product or service, how long the franchisor has been in business, and name recognition.

The growth potential should also be looked at, which may lead to the opportunity to later own more than one location. The UPS franchise provides this option and gives each of its franchisees the support they need.

Doing proper research and planning before joining a franchise can help minimize risk. Your ability to manage the financial and business commitment in joining a franchise should be your benchmark for moving forward. When you decide you are ready to start exploring franchise opportunities, consider The UPS Store as a top contender for your future. We understand your needs and devote time and effort into making sure our franchisees enjoy the benefits of joining The UPS Store network.

Entrepreneur's Franchise Top Rated for Veterans in 2021 badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $10,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #3 in 2021 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 fifth 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.

See the Full Testimonial

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.

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.