This lesson is part of our free Franchise 101 course.
When deciding which franchise to work with, it’s important to look at the numbers, particularly revenues and costs. But it’s also important to look at other factors, to go beyond “what is this company worth?” and into “what is this company like?” Two equally profitable companies in the same sector can be very different to work with. You need to know which one will suit you.
Where Do I Start?
There are lots of sources that can give you information about what a company is like. Look at their website for the information they share, what’s missing, and how it’s designed. Read recent news stories and older in-depth analyses – some of the biggest brands are even the subjects of books. Go to their outlets and have a nose around. Contact the company and ask questions about their franchise program.
No one source is going to give you the whole picture, but they can all be valuable. There’s no right or wrong place to start. The important thing is that you get started.
What Are They Like to Work With?
When you’re looking at a company in this way, remember that you need to understand it from a specific perspective: what are they like to work with?
- How do they support their staff?
- How do they communicate?
- What sorts of expectations do they have of franchisees?
- How flexible are they in dealing with people?
- What is their outward facing brand like, and does this match the way they work behind the scenes?
- What do they claim to value, and is this reflected in their work?
Are You a Good Match?
Questions about financial figures lead to a clear hierarchy of franchises, where they can be put in an order that would be the same for any potential franchisee. Questions that go beyond the numbers don’t work the same way.
You’re not looking for an objective answer to the question “which brand is best to work with?”, because there is no objective answer. Different styles suit different people. Your aim should be to evaluate how well they suit you.
- Do you want more training and support, or to be left to run things your own way?
- Do you like communications to be relaxed and informal or more professional?
- Are the company’s real values ones that match your own?
These questions will help you to decide whether the company is a good fit for you. A bad fit will lead to clashes and stresses, and may be less profitable, as well as a less comfortable experience than you would like.
Not everything that matters can be counted, and not every measure of good or bad is the same for everyone. That’s why you need to go beyond the figures.