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Choosing a management franchise

Please consider the following to help you set your priorities and narrow the field of opportunities that are right for you.

How much can I invest and what level of return am I looking for?

Understand how much of your own money would you be prepared to invest and how much you would be prepared / able to borrow?

Management franchise opportunity costs can vary widely, typically with higher investment level opportunities offering the potential for higher levels of return. Be sure to weigh up the level of investment against any anticipated short, medium and long term returns. The returns need to meet your lifestyle requirements / expectations.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What sort of business do you think you would be good at running?

Consider types of businesses where your employment experience and skills set could be of real benefit. For example, key skills required for running a management franchise such as a Minster Cleaning services franchise would be leadership and people management skills and the ability to communicate effectively with office / field based employees, clients, prospective clients, suppliers, fellow franchisees and the franchisor.

What sort of business would you like to be running?

For example, do you want to run a business to business (B2B) franchise (e.g. an office and commercial cleaning franchise) or would you prefer a business to consumer (B2C) franchise (e.g. a fast food outlet).

Would you prefer a long established, stable sector or a developing sector? Similarly are you attracted more to well-known brand names or newer, emerging brands?

Are you interested in a management franchise resale opportunity? A resale brings with it the comforts of an established track record, client base and income stream, albeit at a premium as you will be paying the purchase price for the business in addition to an initial licence fee. Alternatively are you up for the challenge of growing a greenfield / start-up site from scratch?

Research managing a franchise, the market and specific opportunities

The internet is an invaluable tool for researching different markets where you can access market research documents and visit organisational bodies for key information such as market size, growth potential, levels of competition, key influences and trends.

Be sure to visit the website of the British Franchise Association (bfa) – www.thebfa.org. The website provides a wealth of information on franchising in general plus profiles of all its members.

The bfa describe themselves on their website as follows:

“The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector. Franchise businesses must pass a standards-based accreditation before they can become a bfa member. The Association promotes ethical franchising practice in the UK and helps the industry develop credibility, influence and favourable circumstance for growth.”

Minster Cleaning Services is a full member of the bfa and has been for many years. The bfa lists profiles for all full, associate and provisional members on their website.

Once you have decided on an industry or industries in which you would like to operate and shortlisted your preferred franchise options, you will need to invest a significant amount of time researching each one. How well known is the brand name and what is its reputation? What are the potential returns on your investment? What initial and ongoing support and training does the franchisor offer? What would be a typical ‘day in the life’ for you in the business? How has the network grown? Have any businesses failed within the network? If so, what are the reasons for this?

It is really important that you spend time speaking with the franchisor including, ideally, key members of the support team across various business disciplines such as marketing, operations, finance and IT. Equally when assessing any franchise opportunity, speaking with current franchisees is highly recommended. We encourage prospective franchisees to speak with ANY of our current management franchisees and as many as they wish.

Seek external advice

When going through the decision making process and after you have arrived at a decision, you will need to be seeking specialist advice (banks, solicitors, franchise consultants etc). Please click the following link to see a full list and details of the British Franchise Association’s Affiliate Members:

http://www.thebfa.org/members/affiliates

It is vital that you engage the services of a franchise solicitor when reviewing any management franchise agreement.

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