Tips to Remember When You Buy a Franchise

When you decide to go into business, you should buy a franchise or an existing business for sale instead of starting a company from scratch. With a franchise business, you get to enjoy numerous benefits such as solid and reliable parent company support, brand recognition, and easier financing from conventional funding sources such as commercial banks. However, a franchise is not for everyone. There are many things you need to consider and watch out for before investing your savings into a business opportunity. Things could go wrong, but here are the top 10 mistakes that you need to consider and, of course, avoid at all cost:

* Not comfortable with rules and regulations - Not everyone is suited to be a franchise owner. Once you have purchased a franchise, you become part of a bigger organization that offers remarkable benefits. However, you need to follow certain rules and guidelines. Some of these are strict, which are ultimately not suitable for people who are free-spirited or have problems with authoritative figures. See to it that you read and understand the franchise agreement thoroughly, as this describes in detail the rules you need to follow as a franchisee.

* Market and product ignorance - You don't need to refrain from buying a fast food franchise just because you do not know anything about managing a restaurant. However, advance knowledge or understanding of the industry is an essential part of being a successful business owner.

* Failing to get acquainted with other franchisees - Many aspiring franchisees avoid being the first member of a franchise system because of significantly higher risks. To have existing franchisees is very beneficial because they can offer a wealth of knowledge and information to aspiring franchise owners. In most cases, franchisors require you to spend time with other franchisees to learn a few tricks of the trade. It is always best to do this before you agree to become a part of the franchise family.

* Insufficient capital - All franchisors are required by law to state the total amount of fees that a prospective entrepreneur needs to start and own their franchise. These fees include start up costs, ongoing royalty fees, and franchise fees. However, these are not the only fees you need to consider. There are also payroll, rent, inventory, taxes, etc. If a business is an undercapitalized venture, it would likely go out of business. See to it that you have the money you need to purchase and run your prospect business successfully.

* Misunderstanding the provisions in the franchise agreements - As mentioned earlier, the franchise agreement states all the elements of purchasing and running a franchise. This is the most important legal document involved in acquiring a franchise. Understanding all its elements and content is necessary for the success of your business.

* Absence of professional legal counsel - There are a lot of lawyers today who have enough experience in business and franchisee representation. A good attorney can help you understand confusing clauses or terms in a franchise agreement as well as review legal documents for any third party financing you may obtain.

* Valuing verbal promises - Take note that a sales rep is trained to always put a positive spin on transactions. Representatives of franchisors are not different from sales reps, but this does not mean though that they intentionally mislead their clients. Just keep in mind that the only promises you can depend on are the ones that came from the seller of the franchise and are clearly stated in writing as part of the franchise agreement.

* Underestimating competitors - Before you enter an industry and immerse yourself in it, it is best to have prior knowledge and sufficient information. Assessing your competition plays a very critical part. You need to determine your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, and how you can do better than them.

* What are they doing successfully that your franchise may not be able to do? Conversely, where are their weaknesses and how can you exploit them to your best advantage?

* Poor time management skills - You may need to put in a lot of time and effort in running your own business. There are some tasks or responsibilities that you cannot entrust to anyone, even if you employ a number of personnel. Not recognizing this early on can affect your relationships with family and friends, not to mention putting a burden on your staff.

Failure to promote or market your business - The franchise agreement may state that the parent company will do all the marketing for the entire franchise, which includes radio spots, TV ads, newspaper coupons, etc. However, your business will only succeed if you show enough interest in this aspect of owning and running a franchise. So even if your business is a franchise, note that it's your franchise. Think of ways on how you can get more potential clients to walk through your door.

Author's Bio: 

Make sure you do your research before buying a franchise or any business. is a FREE business for sale listing exchange with over 36,000 businesses and franchises for sale, complete directories for business brokers and business loans, as well as comprehensive information for all entrepreneurs. You can also sell a business for free with no listing fees and no commissions.