If you are considering becoming a franchisee you might be daunted by the process or unsure what steps to take. Our simple guide below will cover the majority of the steps taken by most franchisees when entering a business akin to the one offered by our Just Shutters Franchise opportunity.
One thing to consider is your own pace, having grown a successful franchise network we can quite honestly say the length of various stages of the franchise process varies so much from franchisee to franchisee. We have had franchisees take many months to consider, read, get advice, find funding and come back to us, while one in particular went from initial meeting to sign up in around two weeks. So before you start the process make sure you have your own goals in mind, if there is a start date preferable to you, a timeframe you want to work to, let the franchisor know.
The set-up time of any franchise really depends on two things – 1) the franchise itself, each model will have different launch processes, and 2) as discussed above, you, are you ready to commit or still browsing? Do you have a start date in mind or want to take your time? Do you have funds available? Wherever you are on your franchise journey, the following are the steps you will need to take in setting up a franchise:
Many of you reading this will still be in this stage, if you are browsing our website, it is likely you are still researching likely candidates for your big step into franchising. This is a very exciting time, a world of opportunities are open to you, the very best thing you can do at this stage is research; read about companies, their successes in franchising, and perhaps the lessons they have learned along the way. Visit their website – another good tip is try and find how they look to the customer, do they have a good reputation? It might be that their franchise website is fantastic, but we can all sing our own praises, what does the public say?
Ask yourself if you believe in the product or service and the company values.
You may first want to download some brochures and further research the company in the privacy of your own home, or it may be you are ready to take the plunge and speak to a person. Either way the manner in which the company responds to you is another good indication of the service you will get from them. Are they happy to oblige, answer questions? Are they polite and inviting? If so this is likely how they will deal with your potential customers and their relationship with you in the coming years.
Meeting with a franchisor is a great way of getting a real feel for them and the company. Try dong it at their headquarters, this way you can meet staff, see products and get a true indication of how the company operates.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, we have a great article on things to ask a franchisor, the company should really welcome these questions and allow access to staff and franchisees, this will help you to gauge employee and franchisee satisfaction, their success and what you could expect if you were to jump on board yourself.
Franchise contracts can be very daunting, we would always advise franchising through a bfa registered company as the bfa acts not only as a great source of information, but they are very active in looking at franchisors figures and contracts and ensuring fairness and clarity for franchisees.
You will always have the right to get advice on the contract and come back and ask any questions of the franchisor.
Please also see our article ‘financing a franchise’. The franchisor will be able to help you with facts, figures, accounts and business plans if you are looking to obtain finance. Discuss your position with your potential franchisor and they will be able to tell you how much help they will be able to provide. Most franchisors will have experience in helping other franchisees obtain finance, they may have particular relationships with banks or other beneficial relationships that can aid you.
Financial institutions are much more inclined to lend on franchises than other start ups as experienced franchises will have a trading history and documented evidence of success as well as statistics showing franchises are much more likely to succeed.
Each franchise will have their own terms, these will be outlined when you meet and request the contract, you may be required to pay a certain amount to start the launch process, a deposit or all funds up front. Discuss this with the franchisor.
When an agreement has been signed and/or deposit paid, the start-up process can begin, the goods agreed in the terms (this could be tools, uniform, literature, vehicles) will be ordered, your marketing launch will be started.
For a Just Shutters franchise we like to work to a six week launch period where possible as this gives us a good amount of time to set up a franchise with great marketing, its own website areas with SEO work, digital and traditional marketing campaigns in place, video adverts created and all kit, uniform, literature and vehicle agreements set up. This said we have done this successfully in as little as three weeks and have also elongated launches based on specific set-up dates required by franchisees also.
You will be required to undertake certain marketing, promotion and sales activities, each franchise will expect different things from their franchisees, however in general it is in the interest of everyone to make as successful a launch as possible for new franchisees and the pool of skills will all be pulled upon to make the very best of a new franchise.
You will undoubtedly have training and support from your franchisor, whether this be product and service training, sales, business management, systems and tech training – or all of the above, each company will have it’s own manual and ‘how to’ techniques for all franchisees to follow (making sure all customers will get the same quality service throughout each franchise). Some companies have short courses, others have longer stay-away courses, this usually coincides with the marketing set up and product ordering phase to maximise the benefits of this time for a franchisee, discuss this with your potential franchisor.
Again discussing expectations with your prospective franchisor is key to ensuring both sides are happy and fully involved in the process.
For more information on a Just Shutters franchise please call us on 01202 233744 or fill in the form on this page to download our franchise prospectus.