Our fire-and-heart blog for aspiring entrepreneurs just hit a milestone – its one-year anniversary. This made me think back on how we arrived at the decision to buy a franchise and what we’ve learned and experienced as business owners along the way.
Our journey began by meeting with a franchise consultant to learn about the variety of franchise opportunities that existed. Mention franchising to most folks and they immediately think of burgers, pizza, and sandwich shops. However there are thousands of franchise opportunities in dozens of industries, including business services, tutoring, cell phone repair, and home improvement.
The franchise consultant explained how he would work to match us with the franchise concepts that best fit our goals, skills, and personal values. He shared how his brokerage screened and vetted franchise companies to represent only the top quality franchises in their industry. Lastly, he advised that he would guide us through the entire process with regular coaching sessions to help us get the answers we needed from the franchisors to arrive at a final decision. And best of all his coaching services were free because he’d receive payment from the franchisor if we decided to buy.
We emerged confident that the process would produce a successful outcome. After all, even if we realized franchising wasn’t a good fit for us or the timing wasn’t right – at least we would have turned over that rock and discovered what lay beneath. That consultation launched an intensive 4-month process and a wild ride that involved doing due diligence on 3 franchisors, selling and buying homes, setting up a new company, and moving cross-country to open our business.
Good news is that many franchisors offer a structured and flexible discovery process that allows you to proceed at your own pace. In our case, we were at a point in our personal and professional lives that we were eager for a major life change plus, we were convinced that we could effectively manage it all at once. Still, we would never have covered so much ground in such a short period without the benefit of guided discovery by a franchising expert.