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  • Sandrina Gomes Teixeira

10 questions to ask yourself before becoming a franchisee

Before starting a franchise, it is important to ask yourself some basic questions. The franchisee must have the answers to all these questions before starting the business, so as not to find himself in trouble once the activity has begun.

A franchisee works closely with the franchisor. They need to ask questions before they sign the franchise agreement, but they also need to ask questions of themselves, to see if they are right for it. There are thousands of franchise networks in France, so franchisees have a choice. Whatever the sector of activity, there is bound to be a franchise network looking for candidates.

1. What sector of activity should I choose if I want to become a franchisee?

It all depends on you. First of all, you have to draw up your profile and identify your interests. If one of them corresponds to a sector of activity, it would be wiser to turn to that one. It would be a pity to give up halfway through the process because the franchisee no longer likes the concept. Experience is also important: a franchisee with experience in the restaurant business who wants to open a restaurant as a franchise will have an easier time than someone without experience.

2. Are my skills enough to start a franchise?

Some people already have experience in management and delegation of tasks, others do not. Even if training is provided by the franchisor, it is advisable to have a minimum knowledge of business management in order to run the business properly. This knowledge will of course be supplemented by the training given by the franchisor.

3. Am I able to travel geographically?

The chosen network does not necessarily offer opportunities around the candidate's geographical area. If he/she really wants to join the franchise network, he/she may have to move completely. Consideration must be given to the family, who will have to relocate with the franchisee.

4. Are my financial resources sufficient?

Opening a franchise can be very expensive. It is imperative to have a personal contribution representing at least 30% of the total investment. The rest can be completed with a bank loan. With a personal contribution, it will be much easier for the franchisee to get a bank loan.

5. Do I agree with the franchise model?

Franchising is a very advantageous way of doing business: franchisees can benefit from a reputation that has already been developed, with a brand image that has already been built. But there are some constraints: the franchisee must work closely with the franchisor. Even if it is his business, he must respect the know-how and the concept of the franchise network. He cannot do as he pleases because he must respect the franchisor's business model.

6. Is the franchise concept sound?

Before joining a franchise network, it is important to know whether or not the franchise is strong enough to ensure a sustainable business. It is advisable to research the company before choosing a network. Some brands are already well established in the territory and have a near monopoly on their sector. These are the most solid networks that promise franchisees that their business will run smoothly.

7. Is the franchise network well known?

Awareness is a very important factor in franchising. Most franchisees choose nationally or even globally recognised brands in order to attract as many customers as possible. Depending on the sector of activity, some networks are much better known than others.

8. Will the chosen franchise be profitable?

Profitability is what will enable the entrepreneur to make a profit from the business. This is one of the most important criteria in choosing a franchise network, because if the operating costs are higher than the profits, it can quickly become complicated. It is important to find out about the financial situation of the business to see whether it is already profitable or not. It could be dangerous to enter a network that is not profitable.

9. What kind of support is offered by the franchisor?

The franchisor must accompany the franchisee for a certain period of time, whether it is before, during, or after the start of the activity. Training can also be offered to the franchisee, whether it is initial or ongoing. As far as initial training is concerned, this is what will teach the franchisee all the tricks of the trade: it is a mixture of practical and theoretical courses. Continuous training is there to reinforce the candidate's knowledge.

10. Is it possible to leave the franchise network?

The best solution when the franchisee wants to break the franchise contract is an amicable termination. That is, with the agreement of both parties. But often this wish is unilateral. Most of the time, the franchisee wants to leave the network and the franchisor does not necessarily agree. If the franchise agreement does not contain an exit clause, the franchisee may be obliged to pay the franchisor the remaining fees until the official end of the agreement.

The answers to these questions will help the franchisee to determine which sector of activity to choose and which network will be the most adapted to his needs and desires. The franchisee can be accompanied by a professional to help him/her in the event that he/she wishes to leave the franchise network.

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