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Ask the expert s


How can I identify a good fra nchise business?


C HARLIE DIC K S ON


Fra nchise consultant at Ashtons Fra nchise Consulting


u Investing in a franchise is not simply about buying into the product or service, you are also investing in the people behind the brand. Do they have the relevant expertise in their marketplace? When assessing franchisors, research the company to ensure that you are comfortable with their business expertise, leadership and management experience, capabilities and resources. When evaluating a franchise,


the franchisor should have invested time and money in researching and developing their operating systems and processes. These systems should be tried, tested, documented and proven, as well as being easy to transfer to a growing franchise network.


Some important points to consider


include: Ÿ Trading performance of corporate locations: does the franchisor operate corporate locations and are these outlets or offi ces trading successfully and profi tably?


Ÿ Differentiation: does the business have unique selling points, clear differentiation and competitive advantage?


Ÿ Customer and client feedback:


research the business’s customer or client base feedback. Does the business have excellent – or poor – feedback for its products or services?


Ÿ Support services: is the franchisor committed to providing and delivering initial training, ongoing support and marketing plans?


Ÿ Recruitment targets: is the franchisor recruiting new franchisees as per their business plan targets?


Ÿ Franchise resales: investigate how many franchises have been sold as resales in the past two years and how many are currently up for sale


Ÿ Meet franchisors: when meeting with franchisors always do so at the head offi ce as this will give you a feel of the organisation, the culture, the people, the business operation and effi ciency


Ÿ Be well prepared for all meetings and demonstrate that you have done your research


Ÿ Professional advice: we recommend that you assess the franchise by seeking professional independent advice. At Ashtons Franchise Consulting we offer advice and mentoring services for prospective franchisees to support their decision- making process.


Ÿ bfa membership: is the franchisor a member of the British Franchise Association? If not, does the business have plans to join the bfa? l


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