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29 Aspects You Need to Consider Before Franchising a Business

Franchising is a great model for becoming a business owner, but it comes with a lot of paperwork, terms and conditions, and legalese.

Tracy Lee Nicol

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Have you considered everything?

We cover franchise agreement terms, costs, research, location, build out, personal characteristics, conversations with spouses; literally everything you can think of, so there are no surprises.

Although it’s a lot to get through, ensure you have an answer for every one of the points to follow. Some of the answers you’ll know instantly, others might take some self-reflection and difficult conversations, but it’s important to have them. That way, when you get cold feet right before signing up for your franchise, you’ll know it’s just nerves and not an unanswered question causing that nagging feeling of uncertainty.

Similarly, you won’t invest your hard-earned cash in the wrong investment for you. The number one item of advice existing franchisees give to prospective franchisees is that you should do your research, and then do some more. Let’s get started.

Related: No Run of the Mill Franchise

Financial

  1. Have you, your spouse and knowledgeable family members discussed the idea of buying a franchise? Are you in complete agreement?
  2. Do you have the financial resources required to buy a franchise? If not, where are you going to get the capital?
  3. Are you and your spouse ready to make the necessary sacrifices in terms of money and time to operate a franchise?
  4. Will the possible loss of company benefits, including retirement plans and medical aid, be outweighed by the potential monetary and personal rewards that would come from owning a franchise?
  5. Have you prepared a thorough balance sheet of your assets and liabilities, as well as liquid cash resources?
  6. Will your savings provide you with a cushion for at least one year after you have paid for the franchise, allowing a year to break even?
  7. Do you have additional sources of financing, including friends or relatives who might be able to loan you money in the event that your initial financing proves inadequate?
  8. Do you realise that most new businesses, including franchises, generally do not break even for at least one year after opening?
  9. Will one of you remain employed at your current occupation while the franchise is in its initial, pre-profit stage?

Personal

  1. Are you and your spouse equipped to handle the emotional and physical strain caused by long hours and tedious administrative chores when operating a franchise?
  2. Will your family members, particularly small children, suffer from your absence for several years while you build up your business?
  3. Are you prepared to give up some independence of action in exchange for the advantages the franchise offers you?
  4. Have you really examined the type of franchise or business you desire and truthfully concluded that you would enjoy running it for several years or until retirement?
  5. Have you and your spouse had recent medical examinations? Is the present state of your health and that of your spouse good?
  6. Do you and your spouse enjoy working with others?
  7. Do you have the ability and experience to work smoothly and profitably with your franchisor, your employees and your customers?
  8. Have you asked your friends and relatives for their candid opinions about your emotional, mental and physical health and its suitability to running a business?
  9. Do you have a capable, willing heir to take over the business if you become disabled, ill or die unexpectedly?
  10. If the franchise is not near your present home, do you realise that it would not be beneficial to sell your home and buy one closer until the new venture is successful?

Related: Start With the End in Mind

Business

  1. Do you and your spouse have past experience in business that will qualify you for the particular type of franchise you desire?
  2. Is it possible for either you or your spouse to become employed in the type of business you seek to buy before any purchase?
  3. Have you conducted independent research on the industry you are contemplating entering?
  4. If you have made your choice of franchises, have you researched the background and experience of your prospective franchisor?
  5. Have you determined whether the product or service you propose to sell has a market in your prospective territory at the prices you will have to charge?
  6. What will the market for your product or service be like five years from now?
  7. What competition exists in your prospective territory already from franchised and non-franchised businesses?

Other Considerations

  1. Do you know an experienced, business-oriented franchise attorney who can evaluate the franchise contract you are considering?
  2. Do you know an experienced, business-minded accountant?
  3. Have you prepared a business plan for the franchise of your choice?

Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.

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Freedom As A Franchise Owner With Less Risk

Franchising could therefore provide freedom to new business owners as a business opportunity, with the following reduced risks.

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Over the past two decades South Africa saw an influx of international firms selling franchises, as well as an increase in local ones. The franchise sector provides ideal opportunities for small to medium enterprises and is an effective vehicle for growth. Its importance to the economy is significant, contributing an estimated 13,3% to the country’s gross domestic product. There are more than 800 franchised systems operating countrywide, with over 40 528 franchised businesses employing more than 343 000 people.

Franchises, such as Mugg & Bean and Nandos, are among many South African firms operating around the world. Today, at least 90% of franchises in the country are local firms.

The franchise industry is a money-spinner and those prepared to work hard can benefit. There are many success stories of how people left the corporate world to seek freedom in running their own franchises.

A consideration for gaining freedom could be a standalone business. However, one has to be mindful that businesses are experiencing challenges due to the tough economic conditions in the country and the world. It is also becoming more expensive to do business as a result of increased lending rates, electricity costs, staffing and rental.

Related: Should You Purchase An Existing Franchise?

happy-franchise-owner

Franchising could therefore provide freedom to new business owners as a business opportunity, with the following reduced risks:

  • Due to the brand’s support structures, it is possible for business owners to open a store without the risk of failure experienced with independent business owners.
  • Franchisees have the advantage of a turnkey operation without having to blindly set up a store and secure suppliers, which makes franchising a sleek and fast way to set up a business.
  • With a good support structure and management team, franchisees are able to customise their working hours according to peak and crucial trading times.
  • With the backing of a recognised and responsible brand, franchisees’ expansion plans are escalated and the probability of becoming a multi-unit business owner improves.
  • As business owners, franchisees are ultimately still responsible for and in control of their bottomline. The more efficiently and effectively a store is managed, the more profitable the business will be.
  • Franchisees have more control over their competitor landscape than licensee holders and independent business owners. Most franchise concepts guarantee a certain radius of trading territory, which gives franchisees the advantage of no new competitor entrants within the brand.

Nedbank Business Banking has the following tips on how one can tap into franchising opportunities:

  • Identify a franchise within your area of expertise.
  • Raise the capital through own or loan funds – at least 50% personal savings are required to start up the business.
  • Understand the business and do market research.
  • Draw up a business plan – without one, no financial institution will understand your vision.
  • Maintain a good credit history – check the status of your profile through the various agencies as this impacts rental agreements, financial applications and credit for the business.
  • Obtain financing options from the franchisor.
  • Get an accountant and a lawyer – financial and legal expertise is necessary, especially with new regulations.
  • Understand the implications of the Franchise Industry Code of Conduct.

Related: Owning A Franchise – Good Idea Or Bad Idea?

For further information on franchise funding send an email to franchising@nedbank.co.za.

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(Watch) Franchises Help Create Jobs

The franchise sector has not been immune to the challenges of the current economic climate. However, it has demonstrated resilience and continues to play a key role in contributing to the economy and creating jobs.

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Mark Rose, Head of New Business Development, on Nedbank Franchising

Recent statistics from the Franchise Association of South Africa reveal that the industry has grown to over 750 franchise systems, with nearly 35 000 franchise outlets, contributing an estimated 11,6% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) through an estimated R493 billion in turnover in 2016. The franchise sector has helped create more than 350 000 jobs.

See money differently

Nedbank’s new brand proposition encourages clients to ‘see money differently’. We have a broad spectrum of finance products available to clients who wish to become involved in franchising. This includes access to working capital facilities, asset-based finance loans, debtors finance and term loans to enable entrepreneurs to fulfil their dreams.

There are obvious benefits to purchasing a franchise rather than starting an entirely new business, since being linked to an existing brand established in the marketplace can make the financing process easier. We offer funding for all franchise models. However, preference is given to brands that demonstrate ethical behaviour, have operational structures in place and, most importantly, are able to offer their franchisees support, especially in difficult times.

As a bank for business, Nedbank’s finance application approval rate is higher for franchises than for independent business, as we rely on the inherent benefits of a franchise system.

Related: Should You Purchase An Existing Franchise?

What we offer

nedbank-offers

Nedbank has customised packages for franchises that cover lending, transactional banking and value-adding and investment solutions.

Pre-negotiated pricing also provides the respective brands with upfront pricing on transactional banking services.

These are delivered through our local regional offices, which are supported by a centralised credit unit to ensure quick turnaround times on decisions.

Finance solutions for franchises include:

  • New-store financing
  • Financing for resale transactions
  • Financing for multistore transactions
  • Finance packages for alternative energy efficient solutions/projects
  • Financing for revamps or refurbishment.

What we look for in a potential franchisee

As a bank our assessment of potential franchisees is based primarily on the viability of the business: affordability must be evident, location of the business must be sound, the franchisee must have sufficient experience and a healthy credit record, and the franchisor must provide a support mechanism.

Nedbank will assess the application in line with these requirements. The franchisee is generally required to invest 50% in unencumbered funds in the franchise. The finance gearing for the purchase of multiple stores is negotiable, depending on debt levels and performance of your existing outlet(s).

Related: Owning A Franchise – Good Idea Or Bad Idea?

To ensure the success of franchisees Nedbank offers additional support in the form of transactional products and services, such as card acquiring services, merchant facilities and electronic banking, which have been designed to add value to franchisees, giving them the edge to succeed in a competitive environment.

Innovation for clients

Nedbank has also introduced a solution for franchisees who have to secure a fuel or rental guarantee, allowing franchisees to secure a guarantee without having to provide the bank with cash cover.

We also offer a variety of products, such as Market Edge, a first-in-market data analytics tool that enables clients to gain insights into their customers’ behaviour and to develop strategies for their business on a multilayered, real-time and user-friendly dashboard.

GAP Access is another innovative product that enables the bank to provide Nedbank merchants with access to working capital, advanced against their point-of-sale (POS) terminal turnover. Repayments are made daily as a small percentage of card turnover, while cashflow is tracked and the merchant is net-settled.

Related: 3 Secrets To Franchising Success

Nedbank Business Banking

Our tailored solutions take franchisees’ current and future goals into consideration, and aim to assist franchises in attaining the competitive edge needed to succeed. A dedicated business banker gives franchise owners the opportunity to have an experienced financial expert as a partner in their business.

For more information on franchising email us at franchising@nedbank.co.za.

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Franchise Your Business

Great Service At Entry Level

Sometimes in our country you find great customer service at the lowest rung on our economy.

Basil O’Hagan

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I’m speaking about the informal sector and below – people who barely even have jobs, but who deal with the public every day.

These are the car guards, the ladies selling loose cigarettes at kip-kip stands and spaza shops, the gents with the black bags at the robots, the window washers… Some see these people as a nuisance, but often they do provide a service. The best among them are a pleasure to deal with.

I know a man named Sabelo, whom I’ve been dealing with for almost a decade at a set of robots near my house. He’s never been less than friendly, polite and helpful. We do regular business, with him taking some of my car litter off my hands and me paying him a few rands each time.

Related: See You At The Top: A Guide To Winning At Customer Service

Ironically, some of the biggest multinationals in the game don’t even show the same level of human sincerity and customer service as a humble robot guy.

I recently visited the coffee shop at a cellular service provider. There I had a horrendous service experience. There was no welcome, no smile, no menu, no TV. I was kept waiting for more than an hour as staff shouted across the restaurant at each other. In the end, they couldn’t provide a receipt slip for my meal. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

The best part of the whole experience was the parking attendant. He was enthusiastic, smiling and helpful, and created a great first impression when I arrived. He should be working at reception and representing the brand, instead of the current staff, who couldn’t care less.

The learning, for me, is that people who work at the street level are often well-versed in personal interaction, in making connections and naturals at customer service.

management advice

Related: 9 Top Customer Service Turnoffs That Are Chasing Away Your Sales

Service Tip: Offering someone a job is a lost art, in these days of job applications, CVs and employment agencies. But there is talent lurking everywhere. Keep an eye out for it, and don’t be shy to offer someone an opportunity.

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