Buying a franchise is a popular strategy for entrepreneurs who want to head up their own business but want to circumvent the initial stages that cause most new businesses to fail. When you buy a franchise, you are buying into an existing business concept; you don’t have to worry about developing the brand or proving the viability of the core concept. The best franchises relatively safe business models that have the potential to be lucrative for both franchisor and franchisee when it works.
For entrepreneurs who are lucky enough to have sufficient savings to purchase a franchise, deciding whether to purchase one or not is relatively simple. But for most franchisees, the first stage of investing in a franchise is securing the necessary financing. Investing in a franchise is less risky than founding a business from scratch, but it is still far from a guaranteed money maker. Below are some simple tips for acquiring the capital you need to finance a franchise purchase.
Look for affordable options
There are franchising opportunities available in just about every industry and sector you can think of. Most franchises will require reasonably significant investment if you want to become a franchisee, but there are always low-cost options if you’re willing to look. Remember that you don’t only have to consider the cost of buying a franchise; you also need to ensure you have enough money left over to cover your living expenses until the franchise is generating enough revenue for you to live off.
You always have the option of applying for a business loan to cover the cost of purchasing a franchise. But it is always preferable to acquire a franchise without having to take on additional debt if possible.
Create a business plan
A business plan is an essential document for any entrepreneur looking to run their own business. It doesn’t matter whether you are starting your own business from scratch or buying a franchise; having a solid business plan on your plan will open up far more financing options for you. A viable business plan will demonstrate to banks and other potential lenders that you have a realistic plan for achieving your goals. Your plan should also include a financial forecast and therefore, a timetable for repaying any capital you borrow to get your business off the ground.
The more detailed your business plan is, the more likely lenders are to buy into it. Ideally, your plan should include an analysis of your target market and main competitors as well as the anticipated performance of your own business. Including competitor analysis will demonstrate your understanding of the market as a whole. Without this analysis, lenders are likely to be more reticent about funding your business venture. This is just as true when you are funding a franchise purchase as it is when starting a business from scratch.
Improve your credit history
If you are going to approach other lenders to fund your franchise purchase, having a high credit score is always beneficial. If you have a poor credit history, borrowing money or securing any kind of funding will be a lot more difficult. It is always worth applying for a copy of your credit report before you approach any lenders. Even if you are certain that you have an outstanding credit score, it is worth checking your report just to be certain. If you discover any mistakes, you can apply to have them corrected. If there are any blemishes on your report that might prevent you from securing funding, you will have the opportunity to fix them and repay outstanding debts.
Choose your franchisor carefully
When you purchase a franchise, you aren’t just investing in the underlying business; you are also investing in the franchisor. You should vet the franchisor just as carefully as you vet their business. It doesn’t matter how profitable or solid the franchisors’ business is; if you don’t have complete confidence in the franchisor, you are setting yourself up for a world of trouble. A poor relationship between you and your franchisor will make everything more difficult. Any business decision you have to make relating to your franchise, no matter how large or small, can become complicated when there is friction between you and your franchisor.
On the other hand, purchasing a franchise from a franchisor who is on the same page as you and shares your approach to business will make the entire process significantly less stressful. You don’t have to agree on everything, but you should have faith in their entrepreneurial abilities. You should also make sure that you are happy with the terms they are offering in their franchising agreement and have confidence that they will live up to them.
Buying a franchise is less risky than building a business from scratch, but it is still not without its risks. Before you commit to investing in a franchise, whether you’re looking at internet franchises or white-collar ones, you need to know how you will fund your purchase and do your due diligence to ensure it’s the right path for you.