The Franchising Process: A Complete Visual Guide
If you’ve found this article, you’re an entrepreneur already immersed in market research.
In an article titled The Real Definition Of Entrepreneur — And Why It Matters, Forbes defines entrepreneurs as people who identify a need and fill it. “It’s a primordial urge, independent of product, service, industry or market,” the piece posts.
Entrepreneurs take risks. They execute on big ideas and persevere through success and failure. Entrepreneurs are the fuel of innovation and market trends.
The Advantage of Franchising
The smart entrepreneurs, as bold as they may be, don’t take foolish risks. They enter calculated endeavors.
One of the best ways to do that is by opening a franchise business.
Both starting an independent business and buying a franchise have pros and cons. Building an independent business gives more autonomy, but the flip side of that coin is a lack of support. For owners who have not operated their own business before, especially in a relatively unfamiliar category, the learning curve is extremely steep.
However, the benefits of owning a franchise include an established support system and the wisdom and market intelligence to capitalize on growth trends, enabling a franchisee to achieve its success milestones more quickly.
Research and Evaluation
The options for franchises out there will seem limitless. But narrowing your areas of interest to a few categories of business types is the first step of the franchising process. From there, you can narrow the selection by how much you’re willing to invest as well as which franchises fit your personal goals.
Soul-searching and crunching numbers are the best ways to reduce your choices and enable you to find the right franchise.
Read industry publications covering the industry you’re most interested in. Study the franchise brand or brands you’re focused on. If possible, talk to current franchisees about the pros and cons of the franchise.
The required investment levels for franchises are publicly available. If you can’t locate them online ask for the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
The Franchise Application
When you pinpoint the company you want to work with, request information and speak to a representative of the franchisor who works with prospective franchisees.
They likely will ask you to complete and submit a franchise application, which is similar to a job application or a shortened loan application.
Though all franchise applications differ, typically they will ask for in-depth information about yourself. You’ll list the geographical area, such as city, state, or region, where you are hoping to open a franchise location or locations. The application will ask for other information too, such as whether you are married or will have business partners in the venture.
You’ll disclose financial information, such as how much cash you have on hand, the estimated value of any investments you have, any retirement accounts, bankruptcies, etc.
Vetting Each Other
In this courting process, your goal will be to impress the franchise company and show them why you’re the right franchisee for a given area, instead of other applicants.
Showing you can meet the financial threshold is crucial. If you establish you have the proper funding, next you’ll want to talk up any business management or ownership experience you have, as well as any experience you may have in the subject matter of the market you’ll be entering.
Show them what kind of prospect you are and how serious and authentically interested you are. Think ahead and be prepared to share your short- and long-term goals.
Demonstrate that you have the personality and work ethic necessary to lead a team and launch a franchise operation — in partnership and accordance with the franchisor’s systems, practices, and guidelines.
Moving Toward an Agreement
After you and the franchisor both have conducted sufficient due diligence to vet each other, before signing a franchise agreement, you’ll need to put forth your funding.
Many new franchisees aren’t financially heeled enough to fund the entire initial investment, so they turn to outside lending sources to provide financing. Such resources may include family and friends, investment funds, or traditional lending institutions.
Some people have the option to ask family or friends to loan them the funds to cover the initial investment costs, others tap into their 401K or retirement funds, and others use traditional lending institutions like local or national banks.
A number of franchisors have relationships with lenders and can assist a franchisee before the franchise agreement is even finalized.
Reaching an Agreement
Fully vetted and funded, it’s time to officially become a franchisee.
Franchisors will set forth what they expect from you and what they will provide, in franchise agreements. Be sure to ask an attorney with experience in franchise dealings to review the proposed agreement.
Before getting to this point, be sure you’ve considered who will be signing — i.e., are you signing in your personal capacity or as a member of an LLC or other business entity that will own the franchise? Be sure you fully consider the duration of the agreement, whether it is renewable, etc.
The agreement will also set forth initial fees, royalty fees, and any other costs. You should already have been aware of these before you chose to partner with this franchisor. Make sure the agreement reflects accurately and clearly what those fees are and how they are determined.
The document should also set forth who is responsible for what in terms of training, operations, brand standards, marketing, purchasing, expansion options, exclusivity of the territory, and much more.
At this point in the franchising process, you are officially a franchisee.
From here, your franchisor will jump into action to help you get set up for business, assist with marketing and hosting your grand opening, and all the fun, exciting, and profitable next steps that come with opening a franchise.
Founded in 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri, MassageLuXe is a fast-growing franchise-based spa company with a mission of delivering the highest quality massage while providing a comfortable, relaxing and luxurious environment to clients. To further this mission, MassageLuXe also grants clients access to Repechage facials and waxing services.
Massage is a service that improves health, promotes relaxation and overall well-being for the consumer, and has been practiced throughout the world for thousands of years. MassageLuXe currently has 68 locations across 16 states and is planning to expand to 250 locations in the next five years.
For more information about MassageLuXe, please go to https://massageluxe.com/.
To learn more about spa franchise opportunities with MassageLuXe, scroll down to fill out the contact form below.