from Debbie Webster, President, Tony&Guy Hairdressing.
There is no doubt that the franchise market is one of the fastest growing sectors in business today and for the right entrepreneurs it can be a lucrative and highly profitable business model. The key to success is finding and partnering with the right franchise model.
There are so many models to choose from you want to take the time to make the right match. Remember, not all models are created equal and not all opportunities are as good as they may appear on the surface. The key is finding a business model that fits with your passion. Complete your due diligence by speaking with existing franchisees to get a thorough understanding of how the model works. Determine if the model will fit into your work ethic, lifestyle and long term growth plans.
Steps to take when considering a franchise
Make sure you take the time up front to fully understand the model. Decide if you are looking for a passive or an active investment. Determine how much time you are able to commit to get your new business venture up and running and make sure this fits with the expectations of the prospective franchisor. Be realistic in your expectations, determine when you will begin to see a return on investment and plan accordingly to make sure you won’t fall into a cash shortfall. Too often people select a business that is going to take much more time than they are able to commit and wonder why they fail. Take the time to interview current franchisees and ask them if they would reinvest in the brand knowing what they know now.
What to expect as a franchisee
There are many variables provided by franchisors in today’s business climate. At a minimum you should expect to receive assistance and help in all factors relating to opening and operating that particular model. For example: location and site selection, build out and construction criteria, marketing and operations training and ongoing support and strategic growth planning.
The reason that you invest in a franchise system is to take advantage of a proven system and therefore removing the need to recreate the wheel. Successful franchisees fully and consistently implement everything that the franchisor has shared with. Successful franchisees don’t allow their ego to get in the way by thinking they can cherry pick the system and use their own ideas instead. There is a reason the franchisor is successful and that was what attracted you to the brand in the first place. Stick with the system and you too can be successful.
Top Five Tips for Becoming a Franchisee
- Find your passion.
If you select the right franchise model and you really love what you do you will never work another day in your life! As a franchisee you are now an owner which in turn means you are an entrepreneur. To be a successful entrepreneur have you to love what you do.
- Commit to the commitment.
Understand the relationship you are entering into. A franchise is like a marriage, you are entering into a long time commitment, generally franchise agreements are between 5,7 and 10 years. That’s a long time to be in a difficult relationship!
Understand the change in lifestyle required to make this new venture successful. Remember this is an investment both emotionally and financially. Make sure that you have what it takes to withstand the challenges you may face. Understand that it may take two to three years before you may see a profit and make sure you have what it takes to support that both emotionally and financially.
- Follow the blueprint.
The most successful franchisees fully and consistently implement the franchise system. Don’t try to reinvent the system. Remember if you wanted to do your own thing you, then you should have done your own thing!! A franchise system is there to be followed. The franchisor provides the blueprint but it’s up to the franchisee to take it and run with it.
The most successful franchisees network within their system. They pick the brains of other franchisees within their brand and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge. What works in one market may not work in another but by tapping into the experience of others you can save yourself a lot of time, energy and money in research. Use their experience to minimize your startup mistake.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Debbie Webster has over thirty years experience in the hairdressing industry. After relocating to the United States in 1991 Debbie began her career with TONI&GUY hairdressing. In her role as President she is currently based out of Marina del Rey, CA and is responsible for overseeing the salon and academy divisions along with franchise growth in North, South and Central America. Franchising since 2008, TONI&GUY USA currently has over 65 units in North America and recently launched their first franchise salon in Toronto, Canada.