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The 3 Advisors You Need When Evaluating Franchise Opportunities

The 3 Advisors You Need When Evaluating Franchise Opportunities

Want to start your own franchise? Seek the advice of an accountant, a banker and a lawyer to help vet the franchise opportunity.

When you decide to start your own business, the first thing you should do is research, research, and then research more. Whether you build it from scratch or choose a franchise opportunity, research is necessary before you even come close to opening your doors. If you opt to join a franchise network because you want to run your own business while taking advantage of the guidance an established franchisor can offer, you need to look for more than an established brand name, and your research shouldn’t stop once you settle on an industry and product.

All franchise opportunities are not created equally. Even brands in the same industry offering similar products are often vastly different. Just a few of the many factors that need to be considered before signing on the dotted line include the level of investment required, classes or tiers within the network, franchisee profiles, initial fees, continuing fees, territorial rights, supply chains, sources of revenue, marketing requirements, training provided, headquarters and field support, in-term obligations, post-term obligations, length of the franchise agreement, and renewal possibilities. Every franchise system is different, which can have a direct impact on your business plan and projected return on investment.

Before you make a commitment that may not fit with the goals and vision you have, enlist some help. Impartial advice from three key professional advisors can reveal the big picture of starting your own franchise and help determine if the venture is right for you. Read on to find out who they are and why their input is so important.

An Accountant

Having an interest in business and expertise in finance are often mutually exclusive, but it’s a smart idea to seek the advice of an accountant. You may think you have an overall understanding of start-up fees and ongoing costs to keep your business running, however, an accountant with franchise experience can take you through each fee line by line and verify your calculations. The last thing you want when starting your own franchise is to fall behind before you have a chance to earn a profit. If you don’t have a large amount of collateral upfront, an accountant can also advise you toward a franchise with better financing options. After you open, a franchise-specific accountant is also beneficial for tracking costs and business growth to make sure you’re advancing toward your goals. Because they are paid to manage your money in the best way possible, it’s their job to make sure you spend and plan wisely without throwing money away on hidden costs.

A Banker

A banker may be your best source for impartial advice because the main purpose of their job is to say no. They are conservative by nature and making a bad loan for a risky business venture can impact their own livelihood. A banker is your best source to find any hidden potential risks in a franchise opportunity or flaws in your proposed business plan. Think of your banker as your professional pessimist. There is no such thing as risk-free in business, but a banker can give you a clearer picture of exactly how much risk is involved and help determine if the franchise opportunity you’re interested in is right for you.

A Lawyer

When you’re handed a franchise agreement, there may be pages of legal terms and restrictions you may not fully understand. To protect yourself from unnecessary risk or obligation, have an experienced franchise lawyer give it a thorough review. They can determine if the agreement is standard or includes any unusual clauses or hidden costs you may be obligated to pay if you sign.

It’s best to consult with an accountant and banker before reaching out to a lawyer, as they aren’t who you would employ for financial advice. Your business plan and cost detail should be established before this point. Think of a lawyer as the final fine-tooth comb that will weed out any details that may have been overlooked.  A lawyer can advise you on typical franchisor obligations when welcoming a new franchisee and can confirm if they are committing adequate support to you and your business. Most importantly, a lawyer will ensure legal protection and prevent you from signing an illegal or unethical agreement.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Advice

The most successful business owners know that it takes a village to get a business up and running, and you shouldn’t shun valuable advice for the sake of being able to say you’re doing it all on your own. At the end of the day, the business will be yours to run but consulting from impartial sources beforehand can mean the difference between a profitable venture versus a short-lived, preventable failure. If you’re looking into starting your own franchise, you should be willing to absorb all the knowledge and guidance you can to build a long-lasting and sustainable business. A little help from the right advisors including an accountant, a banker and a lawyer can go a long way.

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.