Franchises in the U.S. date back to the mid-19th Century, when Isaac Singer, inventor of the sewing machine, created franchises as a means to distribute his product over a larger area. Today franchises make up a large percentage of American businesses. They are a popular way to get started, offering built-in access to established brand names and turnkey operations that can greatly increase a business owner’s chances of success. If you are considering starting a franchise, it is important to do your due diligence and find a fit that is right for you.
Finding the Right Franchise
Before investing your money, time, and energy into a franchise, take steps to determine whether that particular business is the right one for you, including:
- Do your homework to find out about the pros and cons, how the franchise works, and the market in your area.
- Prepare a dozen questions for other franchisees to get information about the franchisor, including questions about their business model, marketing strategy, training, and support.
- Talk to other franchisees to get inside information on how much time, money, and effort you would need to invest; how much return on your investment you could expect to see; how much help the franchisor would provide; what major obstacles to success you would be likely to encounter; and how those problems can be solved.
- Examine the trends for the business and determine whether the market is improving or worsening overall.
- Run the numbers to find out what it takes to break even, what drives revenue, and what key performance indicators monitor success.
- Make certain that your skillset matches those the franchise will require.
Another factor to consider is how local, state, and federal regulations could impact the franchise you are considering. A good way to obtain that information is to consult with a knowledgeable business and commercial litigation attorney in your area.
Tips for Success When You Are in Business
Once you have chosen and started a franchise, the success of your business will depend on the choices you make along the way. Tips for success include:
- Create a business plan, if only a simple one, with goals and financial projections for the coming year.
- If your business skills are rusty (sales, internet marketing, accounting, dealing with employees, etc.) take classes or find other methods to improve those skills.
- You chose your franchise because it is a successful system, so learn that system well, and follow it carefully.
- Cooperate with the franchisor, maintaining a positive attitude, and treat its representatives with respect.
- Take control of your own franchise, as you are the one ultimately responsible for its success or failure.
Wisconsin Business and Commercial Litigation Attorney
If you are starting a franchise in Milwaukee, you will need sound legal counsel and guidance from an experienced Wisconsin business litigationyer. At Kerkman Wagner & Dunn, we represent all types of owners and businesses, including Fortune 500 companies. Contact our office to get acquainted. Our business attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle all your business needs, including all of the issues associated with franchises.