To help get you started when it comes to identifying a franchise you’ll enjoy owning that can meet both your personal and financial objectives, Franchise Business Review asked a group of successful female franchisees who work in a variety of industry sectors – travel, senior care, cleaning, paint & sip, and photography – to share their advice.
A good franchise brand provides the resources and tools its franchisees need to improve performance and better serve their customers.
1) Ensure you’ll get the support you need: A good franchise brand provides the resources and tools its franchisees need to improve performance and better serve their customers. Since the support you’ll receive will depend on a variety of factors including the size of the franchisor, the culture of the franchise system, and the industry, it’s important that you find out exactly what kind of support you’ll be provided with.
“Buying a franchise isn’t a turnkey arrangement, but it’s pretty close to it. Home Instead gives me everything I needed to build my business,” says Mary Worthington owns a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Pembroke, Massachusetts. “Between the training, online resources, availability of everyone at the home office and the amazing network of fellow franchise owners, I can always find what I need. There is great comfort in knowing that support is right there at all times no matter what the issue.”
2) Look for a progressive brand with a vision: You don’t want to join a franchise system that’s comfortable with its level of success. It will be left in the dust by competitors who continually evaluate their marketplace position and what they can do to better serve current customers and gain new ones.
Make sure the franchise you are considering provides a product or service that you are passionate about.
“Find a company that is progressive and has a vision,” says Michelle Spitzer, a multi-unit MaidPro franchisee whose four locations in Florida generated over $3 million in gross revenue in 2016. “Make sure the franchise you are considering provides a product or service that you are passionate about. When you are considering a particular franchise ask to speak to their franchisee’s to find out their experience. I would also make sure they are going to provide you with a clear franchise system along with the proper support and tools to ensure your success.”
3) Make sure the franchisor seeks out and values input from its franchisees: One of the many benefits of the franchise model is that franchisees can collaborate and share insight with the franchisor to better the system for everyone. A franchise system that does not take advantage of this opportunity is one to avoid.
“TSS Photography is accessible and willing to help, but also always asking for thoughts and suggestions from franchisees on how they can improve,” says Victoria Schafer, who owns a TSS Photography franchise with Southern Ohio as her territory.
Find out if the franchise you are considering surveys its franchisees.
Find out if the franchise you are considering surveys its franchisees like each of the brands featured on Franchise Business Reviews 2017 Top 50 Franchises for Women has a franchise advisory council, and seeks out franchisees input during center visits, conference calls, and regional meetings.
4) Ask a lot of questions: It’s important to ask the franchisor and franchisees how the brand delivers on the points above and many additional questions to understand if the opportunity will be able to fulfill your expectations.
“There are many questions you should ask,” says Andrea Joyce, who owns a Dream Vacations franchise in Somers, New York. “Where are your clients coming from and how are you going to introduce them to your franchise? Will you be able to keep them as clients if you switch brands or industries? Is the territory you are entering the right territory for your business? What is the total investment that will be required? What do others in this business earn and how many years did it take them to turn a profit?”
Another way to find out about whether the franchise delivers when it comes to training, innovation, franchisee involvement, and much more is to see if it provides its full franchisee satisfaction survey results within the Franchise Reviews section of FranchiseBusinessReview.com.
5) Seek expert advice: There are many things you need to understand about a franchise opportunity before investing in it such as all the points outlined within the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which features the franchisor’s expectations as well as what it will provide in addition to an extensive amount of information about the franchisor.
Develop a working relationship with an attorney and a CPA who you can trust to guide you and explain things in a way you can understand.
“Develop a working relationship with an attorney and a CPA who you can trust to guide you and explain things in a way you can understand,” says Jenny Muller, who owns two Painting With a Twist franchises, one in Florida and the other in Alabama, and is a 50% investor in another. “I also advise that you have basic accounting knowledge and be prepared to work harder than you think you will.”
Prior to working with an attorney and CPA, it’s wise to do a bit of research so you can ask them strategic questions and have some understanding of what you would like them to do for you. A great resource is FBR’s Franchise Buyer’s Toolkit. It features a three-hour How Much Money Can You Make? online course, which includes a downloadable Excel worksheet to help you make realistic, personalized financial projections, as well as an in-depth breakdown of the FDD, presented as on-demand video segments.
There is no doubt that franchising has provided many women with the ability to obtain their personal and business objectives.
"I started looking at franchises because I felt strongly that it made sense to go with a proven business model with a track record of success, brand recognition with consumers, and quality support structure," says Worthington. "I signed up for the Franchise Business Review e-newsletter for more information about franchising and received news that Home Instead Senior Care was named the #1 franchise opportunity. The opportunity piqued my interest because it fit my ideal concept of being able to build my own business and give back to the community by helping families meet the daunting challenge of providing care for aging parents." Worthington opened her Home Instead Senior Care franchise in 2012 and says, "So far this journey has been fantastic. I’m planning on a 25% gross revenue increase for 2017 after a 37% increase in 2016 and 87% increase in 2015. I’ve recouped all the cash needed to get the business up and running and enjoy a healthy income. I credit my success to representing a great brand, having experienced fellow owners to brainstorm with, a supportive home office, and the team work that takes place every day in our office. I feel so blessed to be doing this. My only regret is not buying a franchise earlier!"
If you’re ready to achieve success and satisfaction via franchising like the female franchisees featured in this article, exploring Franchise Business Review's 2017's 50 Top Franchises for Women is an ideal place to start. They were selected based on survey feedback from 6,400 female franchisees representing 300 brands regarding aspects of their franchises that are crucial to their success such as leadership, training, marketing, and financial picture.