What areas to focus on when joining a successful franchise?

Have you ever been to the doctor for a full medical checkup? The Doctor will check you from head to toe. Your heart, your organs, blood pressure, cholesterol and so on. After many tests, ECG’s, x-rays, he will either say you are 100% healthy or this or that needs some fine tuning or fixing. This is what Business Doctors do. They will examine your business with a fine tooth comb and either pronounce your business 100% healthy or suggest some ‘fine tuning.’ Often, when we run a business we are not aware of things things that we can improve on or do better. This is where Business Doctors give invaluable advice.

Steve Sutton, the CEO and founder has over 22 years of experience in this area. He invested in the Franchise business 6 years ago and has some invaluable advice to offer when investing in a franchise.

There are some key things to look at when investing in a franchise because one franchise does not fit all. Even when buying a proven model or brand, it’s up to you if you ‘fit’ the type of franchise you are buying.

  • Does it involve sales, or walk in customers?
  • Are you good at selling?
  • How do you convert your product into sales?
  • Does the product sell itself? Is it a physical or online business?
  • Have you checked the brand credibility? They might be a well known brand but do not have good reviews. Not all franchises are created equally.

It is your responsibility to make sure all the elements needed to make a success of the business are there. What support do they give? This is probably one of the most important items. Without a good support network it is very difficult to succeed because there will be moments when you flounder. When you need help. Other areas to consider are overheads. Do you need a large workforce or multiple locations, offices, shops or can you operate from home? Do they offer training and ongoing support? Is it Regional or International? How do they physically generate business? Have they won any awards for products, service, training or others? This shows it is a credible brand because you will be wanting to be buying a return on your investment.

It is important to know if the type of business suits your personality? For example, if it’s a customer face to face business are you a people person? Can you sell your business to someone else? Are you passionate about it? Are you able to put yourself out there? There is always a degree of risk and you will get to learn things about yourself you never knew.

Remember, the franchise business has been in business for a long time so they will be able to ‘short cut’ a lot of the work needed to start a successful business. They have already ironed out a lot of the pit falls. Developed manuals and training to set you up from the start.

Some buyers might often experience ‘buyers remorse.’ This is normal after laying out a lot of money. You might be thinking “what have I got myself into?” This is where your support network comes in to guide you and give you moral support. Life events happen and that is why it’s vital to have the lifeline of support from your Franchise. During the lockdowns, Franchisee support was a must have. Many would not have survived without it.

So what does Business Doctor offer? They give assistance to SME businesses to help them to grow their business. It’s a business in a box. All wrapped up for you and ready to go. How to make your business more successful. Like a doctor, they will put their statoscope on the heart of your business and help you to re-evaluate, restructure and in other words, provide a diagnostic platform. Show you any short cuts, areas of concern and offer you a ‘silver bullet’ to help you grow more efficiently and to operate more cost effectively.

No matter what business you chose, there is always an element of risk. Make sure you minimise the risk by doing your due diligence by checking that they are a part of a credible group like FASA. FASA is there to ensure that Franchisees and Franchisors follow a code of ethics. They handle any disputes and if you’re not FASA ‘protected’ often you will have no comeback or support if things go wrong.

Whether you are an exiting business, or thinking to buy into a franchise, Business Doctors are there to help you get on track.

Business Doctors South Africa