Need Financing to Buy or Grow a Franchise? New Franchise Industry Programs Can Help
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: March 18, 2013, 7:33 am
- Updated: March 18, 2013, 7:37 am
The franchise industry, like all businesses, was not immune to the economic crisis of 2008 and the ensuing credit crunch. But the vital signs of a recovery are there. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), many of the country’s business sectors currently starting to show growth mirror those sectors expected to be the leading drivers of employment in franchising this year. These include food service, health care, hospitality and construction—all sectors with a high concentration of franchise businesses.
“For those Americans dealing with long-term unemployment or a lack of growth opportunities in their current jobs, franchise ownership offers a viable way to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.
The Franchise Industry Tackles the Credit Crunch Head-on
Despite these indicators, financing remains a problem for potential franchise owners. According to Entrepreneur magazine (January 2013), there’s still an 18 percent lending shortfall in the franchising industry. In a bid to boost franchise ownership, many franchisors are taking matters into their own hands and offering financing programs of their own. Meineke, The UPS Store, Gold’s Gym, Masasge Envy and Instant Imprints are just a few examples of franchisors now offering financing to qualifying first-time and multi-store franchise owners.
Want to know more? IFA President and CEO, Steve Caldeira offers the following tips (courtesy of Entrepreneur magazine) to would-be or existing franchise owners looking for an alternative to traditional financing options.
Which Franchisors Are Offering Financing Programs?
Approximately 75 to 100 franchisors are offering or working on offering creative financing programs for start-up franchise owners or those looking to expand. Programs range from zero-percent financing for a limited-term, lower license fees, reduced royalties and minority stake ownership by franchisors in multi-unit outlets. Each brand has its own offering, so down payments and collateral requirements will vary.
In addition, the franchise industry is also experiencing a growth in companies dedicated to helping franchise owners secure financing. Two such firms are BoeFly (which matches borrowers to lenders online) and Franchise America Finance (who provides custom lending solutions for franchisees and works with franchisors such as The UPS Store, Popeyes, and Jersey Mike’s).
Always Do Your Franchise and Financing Due Diligence
If you are new to franchise ownership, be sure to do your research and due diligence about the franchise system you’re interested in (get tips on that process here). Study the Franchise Disclosure Document (required by law) and speak to other franchisees about the brand and the financing program on offer. Next, try to understand what your financial responsibilities as a franchise owner will be. This blog offers some pointers on this: Buying a Franchise – How to Determine What it’s Going to Cost You.
Other Franchise Financing Options
Many banks and credit unions offer financing for franchise purchases, so be sure to compare any franchisor lending rates and terms with these. When you approach a bank, be prepared to disclose all your financial information. While your credit rating is important, you’ll also need to provide a personal financial statement, copies of tax returns and information about the source of your down payment funds.
You should also be aware that your choice of franchise will influence a bank’s decision to fund you. Franchises with strong brand names, a track record of consistent profits and cash flow—plus an ability to perform well across a variety of diverse locations—are going to stand you in good stead when you meet with your bank manager.
If your bank is hesitant about a particular franchise system’s performance, or your finances aren’t as strong as they could be, you might want to consider an SBA loan. SBA doesn’t lend to business owners directly; it provides a repayment guarantee to banks and lenders for money they lend to small businesses, making it less risky for the banks. Use this search tool to find the right SBA loan for you.
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