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How Does the Franchise Process Work? A Visual Guide

FRANCHISING

If you’re reading this post, you’ve likely heard about the benefits of franchising. You get to be your own boss. You enjoy a flexible work schedule. You build a business of your own, to potentially leave in your community to pass on for generations. For entrepreneurs with the means to get started, franchising can be a great opportunity.

The question is, where do you start?

Let us help you understand the franchise process from start to finish; with the complete guide and helpful resources below.

Understanding the Basics: What is a Franchise?

Rather than starting from scratch, franchising allows investors to open a business with an established brand recognition and systems for operating a successful business.

Franchisees pay the corporate company, or the franchisor, ongoing fees for the license to use the trademark, business systems, marketing tools, and other franchise resources at their respective locations.

For the franchisor to maintain brand consistency across its system of locations, franchisees are required to manage the business according to the ownership manual provided by the franchisor. Typically, franchisees consider this to be a benefit rather than a burden, as they enjoy access to location design specifications, equipment and product suppliers, and software they would otherwise have to research, select, and purchase on their own.

Finding the Right Franchise Opportunity for You

Before you begin your research, experts recommend self-reflection. What type of business are you well-suited to operate? Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What are your hard and soft skills?

  • What type of business do you see yourself running?

  • How many employees are you comfortable managing?

  • Do you want a hands-on business that requires your attention daily or are you looking for something semi-absentee?

  • Is there a certain type of business your community is lacking? Consider competition in your community for businesses that interest you.

  • What dollar amount are you willing to invest?

  • Will you invest in the business alone, or will you have partners?

Understanding what you’re good at, what you can afford, and setting expectations before you begin your search will help ensure a positive outcome during your franchise experience.

Cost to Open a Franchise

Franchises vary in cost from an initial investment of under $100,000 to greater than $500,000; the costs depend on the type of business, the business model, the necessary equipment needed to run the business, and costs associated with constructing and designing the business location.

Most franchisors publicly list the initial franchise fees and costs associated with opening a location on their website. For example, the initial investment range to open a Tide Cleaners Plant Store is between $680,000 and $1,573,300.

While a percentage of the cost of opening a franchise will come directly from an investor’s savings, the majority of the costs can be financed. Talk to the franchisor about whether they have preferred lenders.

What to Expect

Here’s how the franchise process works.

Initial Contact

Once you’ve decided on a business that interests you, your first step is to reach out to the franchisor. Most brands have a contact form on their franchising website that you simply submit for consideration.

Discovery Day

After discussing the business opportunity via email and phone, most franchisors and prospective franchisees prefer to meet in person at the company’s headquarters before eventually signing a franchise agreement.

This meeting is commonly referred to in the franchising industry as a “Discovery Day,” an event for the franchisor and investor to meet face-to-face and ask one another any outstanding questions. The visit instills confidence in the partnership for both parties before ultimately signing the franchise agreement.

Site Selection and Buildout Assistance

You’re not alone as a franchisee. The franchisor will help you choose an optimal location and will establish a territory in which no other franchisee can build a store. Your territory will typically be a radius in miles around your store and can vary depending on population and other factors.

You can also expect design help and access to vendors for any equipment or software that needs to be purchased before your grand opening. Franchisors will typically have a corporate employee assigned to your region to assist you as you prepare to open the doors to your location.

Initial and Ongoing Training and Support

Training and support should not end after your location opens. Ask about training opportunities and resources available to you after you open your business.

Tide Cleaners Franchisees benefit from two weeks of hands-on experience at regional training facilities, and complete one week of self-directed computer-based training. After opening their initial plant store, Tide Cleaners franchisees enjoy continuing education opportunities and regional meetups with other franchisees and the corporate management team.

Consider a Tide Cleaners Franchise

Tide Cleaners is looking for spirited entrepreneurs as it expands rapidly in communities across the United States. No dry-cleaning experience needed. We’ll teach you everything you need to know in order to run a successful laundry business.

Have your franchise questions answered and learn more about opportunities with Tide Cleaners by contacting us today!