Answers To The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Franchising
WHAT IS FRANCHISING?
Franchising is a method of distributing products or services. At least two levels of people are involved in a franchise system: (1) the franchisor, who lends his trademark or trade name and a business system; and (2) the franchisee, who pays a royalty and often an initial fee for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and system. Technically, the contract binding the two parties is the “franchise,” but that term is often used to mean the actual business that the franchisee operates.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A FRANCHISE?
Among the points which IFA recommends for investigation are:
a. the type of experience required in the franchised business;
b. a complete understanding of the business;
c. the hours and personal commitment necessary to run the business;
d. who the franchisor is, what its track record has been, and the business experience of its
officers and directors;
e. how other franchisees in the same system are doing;
f. how much it’s going to cost to get into the franchise;
g. how much you’re going to pay for the continuing right to operate the business;
h. if there are any products or services you must buy from the franchisor and how and by whom
they are supplied;
i. the terms and conditions under which the franchise relationship can be terminated or renewed,
and how many franchisees have left the system during the past few years;
j. the financial condition of the franchisor and its system
WHAT KIND OF INVESTMENT IS NECESSARY TO BUY A FRANCHISE?
Investment requirements differ tremendously. It all depends on the industry and the type of business. Total start-up costs can range from $20,000 or less, to over $1,000,000, depending on the franchise selected, and whether it is necessary to own or lease real estate to operate the business. Moreover, the initial franchise fee for most franchisors is between $10,000 and $30,000. Seventy percent of franchisors charge an inital franchise fee of $40,000 or less. The average investment, excluding real estate costs, is between $350,000 -$400,000. You must discuss the inital fees and opening costs with individual companies, although IFA’s Franchise Opportunities Guide can supply general information.
ARE THERE ANY CURRENT TRENDS IN FRANCHISING?
Among the most important trends in franchising today are the internationalization of franchising, the emergence of women and minorities in franchising, and the increased use of technology. All of these have profound and positive effects on franchising and make it an even more dynamic method of doing business today.