How Do You Acquire a Franchise?
The process for acquiring a franchise can be intimidating and create uncertainty, if not managed correctly. The process can be a fun part of the journey if with the right franchisor. The following is the process for acquiring a franchise, including 6 great tips from a subject expert, our CEO of Driverseat. Brian is not only the franchisor / co-founder of Driverseat, an award winning brand, but was a franchisee in a fitness chain prior to that. Read further about the process including the 6 amazing tips that any franchisee would benefit from knowing.
- Understand what you want to be doing with your business. Identifying this will help you appreciate if the business, the type of franchise and the industry is for you. Do you want to be working in a store? Would you like to be doing business development? Do you prefer to supervise teams doing maintenance or construction? These are key questions to ask yourself.
- Research the brand. Spend some time on Instagram, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and of course the website. Understand the culture of the brand and how customers feel about them. Google reviews are an excellent source of unbiased information that can tell you a lot about the business and how they operate.
- Reach out and talk with the franchise development team. Remember, this is a relationship so put your best foot forward. They aren’t in “sales” and how you manage your calls, emails and discussion with them will play a role in them deciding if you are a good fit for their business.
- Decide on your territory or territories. An important step in the process is defining the territory / location of your franchise. You want to ensure it is available and that you understand exactly what the boundaries / parameters are.
- Apply for the franchise then receive the disclosure documents. Franchising is a legal process that requires that the franchisor “discloses” or provides to you a legal document that provides you with valuable information about the franchise business.
- Review the documents personally then with a franchise lawyer. Franchise lawyers know the franchise laws well and can help direct you through the intricacies of the FDD. Go back to the franchisor with a well defined list of questions and clarifications.
- After 14 days (required waiting period), arrange to sign the documents and purchase your franchise rights. Once the franchisor has awarded you the franchise (signed off on them), you will officially be a franchisee of the brand.
6 Important Tips:
- The industry is less important than the work that you will be doing. Think of it this way – an established coffee brand may have the franchisee responsible for hiring and supervising the staff, but not marketing or determining strategies. If you want to be in business development, don’t buy the rights to that coffee shop franchise.
- Be sure you like and trust the franchisor. This relationship is key and you will be that group’s legal partner.
- Do your research online – first. What the customers say and how the business shows up online are such good indicators of the overall business.
- Call other franchisees. Once you receive the FDD, you will have a list of franchisees and their phone numbers. Take the time to call as many as you possibly can. This is a great investment of your time.
- Secure your territory as soon as you have decided to move forward. So many times procrastination or over evaluation lead to a time delay that can cause a territory to be taken before you have time to. Do your research but once you have decided, move forward.
- Be super respectful of the franchise development team’s time and of the franchisee’s time. This is a business relationship – you will be judged on how you act and being respectful of their time is key. Be on the phone on time, answer emails quickly and be clear in your expectations.
Brian Bazely is co-founder and CEO of Driverseat. As the CEO of an award winning international franchise, Brian is well versed in franchising and the franchise process. Brian previously owned nine fitness clubs as a franchisee, which was at the time, the largest franchise group in that chain in Canada.