Not all franchises are created equal. Look for these 4 key benefits before investing in a franchise.
Investing in a franchise is a great option for someone looking to start a business with one foot already in the door. By opening a franchise location, you not only get to be your own boss and run your own business, you have the backing of the parent brand from day one. In franchising, your success equates to the franchisor’s success, and providing support for store owners is in the franchisor’s best interest. But not all franchises are created equal.
Several media outlets and publications release rankings each year listing the best franchises to own. From Entrepreneur to Forbes and Franchise Business Review, organizations review factors such as financial stability, consistency of growth, franchisee satisfaction, support provided, and cost of investment. While the lists aren’t always exactly the same, there are some franchises that appear across the board as being in the top to own. Why are these brands consistently ranked high on the “best franchises to own” lists? They have several franchise benefits and offerings in common. Below are the four biggest perks to joining a highly ranked franchise business.
1. Extensive Training
The best franchises understand that having successful franchisees is critical to the growth of the entire franchise. That means they invest in a quality training program to ensure their new business owners are set up for success. Franchisor education should include hands-on, in-store experience and comprehensive education on the products/services offered. For example, The UPS Store training program includes 215 to 225 hours of franchise training, comprised of web-based courses, in-store experiences, and interactive workshops. The top franchises to own will take the time to make sure their franchisees are prepared to open a store and run it efficiently.
2. Marketing Support
One of the major benefits of franchising is the established brand recognition that comes with it. The best franchises are the ones with a positive brand reputation, meaning as soon as the store’s sign goes up, consumers know what you do and who you are, even if they haven’t been a customer before. Branding alone is not necessarily going to bring shoppers in, so it’s important to have a marketing plan to spread the word about the specific services and offerings available at your location. When looking into a potential franchise to own, evaluate whether the parent brand offers marketing and public relations assistance. The best ones will provide support through both national campaigns and local advertising resources. Some will provide grand opening tools, including best practices on alerting media attention, and help you get the appropriate signage. Additional services may also be available, so be sure to figure out what you have access to before getting started.
3. Large Network of Helpful Franchisees
Another common trait among the best franchises to own is the strength of the franchisee network. The companies with the highest rankings have been in business a while and have multiple successful locations. Aside from simply having a large community of franchisees, top franchises to own offer contact information and opportunities to network. Being able to reach out to someone who has been in your shoes and faced the same challenges you are about to encounter as a new franchisee can be invaluable. Take the opportunity to find out what worked for other owners, what didn’t, what surprised them, and how they overcame the biggest obstacles. By talking to established franchisees before opening your doors, you may be able to get a head start on success.
4. Financing Assistance
It’s no secret that opening a franchise business requires an investment. Most franchisors have minimum financial requirements and upfront costs. Fortunately, the best franchises tend to offer some sort of financing assistance, either with their own programs or partnerships with third-party lenders. Loans can cover different costs, so make sure you check the specifics with your chosen franchise. You may be able to get support for the initial franchise fee, operational costs, inventory supply, and location expenses, such as rent and construction. This can make a huge difference in your ability to become a franchise owner, particularly if the cost is the main issue holding you back from taking the first step.
Whichever franchise you pursue a career with, make sure you do your research. The franchise benefits of opening a location with a franchisor like The UPS Store, McDonalds, or 7-Eleven, as opposed to one found lower in the top ranking lists, are the resources and support they provide their franchisees. Based on industry-ranking commonalities, the best franchises to own offer helpful resources, a recognizable brand, and a proven business model.
Looking to get started? Check out the recent Entrepreneur 500 rankings to start your franchise search, but always consider the cost of initial investment, franchise royalty fees, training programs, franchisor support, and the satisfaction of current location owners as factors in your decision. Owning a franchise can be very rewarding and enjoyable, but the company you choose to join has a major impact on your opportunity for success. Make sure the franchisor you pick to open a business with offers at least these four benefits.