- Q: What is a franchise?
A: A franchise is the agreement or license between two legally independent parties that gives:
- a person or group of people (franchisee) the right to market a product or service using the trademark or trade name of another business (franchisor)
- the franchisee the right to market a product or service using the operating methods of the franchisor
- the franchisee the obligation to pay the franchisor fees for these rights
- the franchisor the obligation to provide rights and support to franchisees
- Q: What franchise industry lingo do I need to know?
A: Every industry has its own lingo and acronyms. Here are a few to have under your belt right away:
A franchise is a company that has a concept that is franchised. The franchise company is often referred to as franchisor or franchiser (similar to advisor and adviser). The person to whom the franchise is awarded is called the franchisee. Someone who is investigating a franchise and is considering becoming a franchisee is called a franchise candidate.
For a complete list of franchising terminology, take a look at our glossary.
- Q: Is there a trade association for the franchise industry?
A: Yes, the International Franchise Association is the trade association for franchising worldwide. It has great resources for anyone interested in franchising. You can visit its website here: www.franchise.org.
- Q: What is a franchise consultant?
A: A franchise consultant is an advisor who listens to your interest in owning a business and matches you to franchises that meet your requirements. Similar to a guidance counselor, we help you make an informed decision. A good franchise consultant guides you on the journey to business ownership, helping you navigate the ins and outs of the investigation and selection process. To take advantage of our free franchise consulting services, contact Anna today.
- Q: How can your services be free of charge?
A: Our services are paid for by the franchisors. They rely on us to find them outstanding and skilled franchise candidates so they can grow their brand with successful franchisees.
When our candidates purchase a franchise, the franchisor pays our consultant fees. Your purchase price remains the same, whether you work with us or find the franchise on your own. With an experienced consultant like Anna, you have everything to gain as you begin this exciting journey. At no time is there any cost or obligation to you to continue in the franchise discovery process.
- Q: How do I choose a franchise consultant that’s right for me?
A: The first place to look is the person’s background, experience and credentials. Do they have a business background? Do they have franchise experience, or do they have business ownership experience? How long have they been in the industry? What is their reputation in the industry?
Think about who you go to for a medical specialty. Most times there’s a personal referral you use or you are aware of the specialists’ reputation in the community. Always do an online search. If you don’t have a personal referral to a good franchise consultant, you can go online to visit websites and LinkedIn profiles to see a consultant’s credentials. It’s the same process for looking for a franchise consultant. After you’ve filtered through people based on reputation, credentials, etc. through an online search, schedule two or three phone interviews. The purpose of the conversation is to see who you’re most comfortable with and to understand what their specific services entail. When we initially meet someone, we determine if our services are a good fit and we discuss next steps. If our services aren’t a good fit, we refer the person to someone who can help.
- Q: As a professional advisor, why would I want to use your services?
A: Our franchise consulting services are an extension of the services you provide to your clients. There is no cost to you or your clients. Our services give you a competitive advantage by providing your clients with a depth of expertise in franchise investments. Our comprehensive services are there to help your client every step of the way, from “concept to concrete” (i.e. we help them from thinking or dreaming about a business of their own to actually owning one).
- Q: How can you help me, a professional advisor, with my clients?
A: Our niche is transitioning people from corporate employment to self employment. We are subject matter experts in the risk reduction business model called franchising. We serve as adjuncts to professional services that professional advisors offer, and we broaden the range of services available to them. We are here to make the professional advisors look good because they have access to an area of expertise that their competitors do not.
- Q: How do I become a member of your Strategic Alliance Program?
A: We offer our consulting services at no cost to you or your clients. Franchise Locators’ services are an extension of your professional services. Our services give you a competitive advantage, and provide a depth of expertise along with a wide network of resources to help your clients navigate a career transition or find the right business investment. To become a member, contact Anna.
- Q: Why should I go with a franchise versus starting a business from scratch?
A: There is one primary reason anyone would invest in a franchise versus starting an independent business from scratch – risk reduction. The franchise business model is a resoundingly successful means of reducing the risk of going into business for oneself. By removing uncertainty, the income potential is more assured. In addition to training and support, most franchises offer an operating system for running the business. Franchises offer business owners a proven business method and brand from day one. Visit the Small Business Administration for more information.
- Q: How do I know if franchise ownership a good fit for me?
A: According to the International Franchise Association, franchise ownership provides prospective owners with a business model that is already in place. Generally, free spirits who want to strike out on their own to bear and finance all the risk associated with an independent business are not a fit for the franchise business model.
- Q: How does a franchise reduce the risk associated with owning a business?
A: There are many ways a franchise helps an entrepreneur to reduce the risk of owning a business. Franchises offer training and support, a proven business model, well-developed marketing strategy and a brand.
McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc would refer to franchising by saying you were, “in business for yourself, not by yourself.” This is how a franchise is designed to operate.
- Q: What are the advantages of owning a franchise?
A: The number one attraction for the franchise business model is it reduces the risk of going into business for oneself. People who wish to minimize their risk and maximize their return on an investment are drawn to franchising. Generally, franchises have a proven track record, established systems for running the business, and an effective marketing strategy to drive customers to the business. With an already established product or service in place, franchisees can enjoy the benefits of brand-name recognition without the burden of building a customer base from scratch. Franchisees also profit from the ongoing support from the franchisor, which may include training, advertising, management support, etc.
A tremendous advantage is the ongoing support from the franchisor AND the other franchisees, who can share best practices for the benefit of the whole system.
- Q: What are the disadvantages of owning a franchise business?
A: First, franchisees are not completely independent—they must follow the procedures and restrictions set by the franchisor in the franchise agreement (at the same time, however, this is a huge benefit of owning a franchise business—with a proven system already in place, it mitigates the owner’s risk). Restrictions may include pricing and the services and products that can be offered. And obviously, you have to give up some level of control on how you operate your business.
Also, if other franchisees are performing poorly, the entire brand image may take a hit, even though your franchise might be operating well on track.
It’s so important not to mistake a brand name for a good investment. That’s why you need an experienced, credible franchise consultant to guide you through the franchise discovery process. It’s important for you to do a rigorous investigation of any franchise prior to signing an agreement. Our consulting services help people understand what they need to know about franchising, thereby allowing them to make informed decisions as they select the right franchise.
- Q: Why do seasoned corporate employees find franchises attractive?
A: Many corporate employees have run departments, divisions or companies in their careers. When an early retirement is taken or a position is eliminated, professionals in career transition see owning their own business as a welcome opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream. People who work with us are typically looking for two things: income replacement and/or augmenting retirement funds. They are looking to get to or through retirement while maintaining the lifestyle they currently have.
- Q: Do I need to have industry experience to be a successful business owner?
A: Unlike an employer who regards industry experience as very important, franchisors are looking for people with a transferable skill set, the willingness to be trained and the desire to apply their training to the operation of the business.
Franchise business ownership frees people from the confines of the industry they’ve been in throughout their career. We have successfully placed people from a variety of career backgrounds including sales, marketing, operations, human resources, the C-suite, IT, accounting, engineering, finance, etc. These people are from industries like manufacturing, medical, mortgage, human resources and from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, regional firms.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Anna so you can begin the process of finding the business that’s right for you.
- Q: Is a business search like a job search?
A: In some ways, yes. Similar to a job search, you’ll want to find a business that fits your interests, skills, preferred work environment, schedule, etc.
However, unlike employers, franchisors are NOT looking for industry experience. The franchisor will train you and teach you want you need to know to be a success in their industry. Franchisors are looking for your transferable skill set—people skills, management skills, time management skills.
- Q: With what kinds of franchises do you work?
A: We work with an impressive range of franchises—everything from new, emerging concepts to well-established, top-of-mind brands. Our expertise is in executive franchises, multi-unit franchises and semi-absentee businesses. We work with franchises of all sizes, descriptions, concepts, investment levels, and location types. For more information, set up an appointment with Anna.
- Q: What other options are there besides fast food?
A: The franchise business model is used by over 70 different industries. If there’s a business, there’s probably a franchise version of it. The franchise business model is a risk reduction strategy for going into business. Franchising offers opportunities including concepts in areas like home improvement, pets, children, restoration services, staffing, hair care, cars, massage, janitorial staffing, etc. To learn more, contact Anna.
- Q: What are my financing options?
A: Naturally, it’s important for you do be aware of your credit score and what’s on your credit report if you’re considering financing. You may check yours for free at one of the following websites:
There are a variety of financing options available to a prospective franchisee. Depending on your personal financial situation, you may do either debt, equity or a combination of them. Visit our funding resources page, SBA loans and International Franchise Association for more information.
Click here to schedule a confidential consultation with Anna to discuss your financial situation. We help all our franchise candidates obtain funding.
- Q: How much does a franchise cost?
A: It depends on the business and your personal financial situation. This is a question best answered in a consultation because there is such a wide range of total investment options. Many people confuse the franchise fee with the overall cost of the business.