Choosing a Franchise in a Competitive industry
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: August 25, 2011, 9:45 am
- Updated: January 3, 2013, 4:08 pm
Today’s franchise buyers are faced with thousands of choices; not only do they have to figure what type of franchise businesses to look into, they have to figure out which one is the “best in show.” Allow me to explain.
If you’re looking to become a franchise business owner, you’ll find that it’s a multi-step process. Like any major decision, it’s bound to be fraught with hurdles…obstacles, and on a positive note, numerous opportunities for personal growth.
As a franchise owner, you’re going to be faced with those same things; it’s how you deal with them that will determine your success.
Of course you first have to decide your budget. Then you have to make sure that you have the right stuff for the mostly rigid business model of franchising. Once you do that, you’ll have to take a look inside, and figure out what your top skills are, and try to match them up to some franchises that look like they may be a fit. Then the work begins. (Especially if the ones you’re interested in are in a highly competitive industry.)
One sector of franchising that’s always competitive is food; think of all the burger, pizza, and frozen yogurt places that dot the landscape within a 20-mile radius of your home. If you’re leaning towards the food franchise area, make sure that the franchise you choose is different. In other words, find out its USP. (Unique Selling Proposition.)
One way to find out what makes the franchise you’re interested in special is to ask the franchise development director that you’re working with how their opportunity differs from the others in their space. I also want you to ask the current franchisees what they think the USP is, and if it works….ask them if it does in fact, separate them from their local competition. Remember, all of us, (including your potential customers) are constantly being bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands of marketing messages every day. As a franchise owner, you want to make sure that your marketing message is heard…not lost.
It’s great to be able to connect by phone with the current franchisees of the franchises you’re investigating; that’s where most of your answers are going to come from, anyway. But to really find out if the franchise offering you’re considering has its USP figured out, visit franchisees in-person. Most franchisees love to show off their businesses. In-person visits are crucial; try to arrange more than one, if you can. While you’re visiting, take everything in. Ask yourself if you can “see” yourself as the owner.
Another Competitive Sector
Food-related franchises aren’t the only ones that have to focus on differentiating themselves in a crowded sector; the senior care franchise area is quite competitive, too. As a matter of fact, there are over *30 different franchise offerings in senior care.
The numbers don’t lie; according to *AARP International, the worlds 65 and over population will double by the year 2050. For the senior care industry as a whole, it’s great news. For would-be franchise owners who are interested in this sector, it makes it a little more difficult. That’s because these future franchisees know that they need to move fairly fast through the research process, if they want to snag a good territory.
If you happen to be looking seriously at *this franchise sector, make sure that you know what your role will be. If helping others happens to be the major driver in your decision to enter this field, that’s wonderful; today’s seniors need the help. But, remember that for the most part, these seniors…your clients, aren’t going to be coming to you at first. You’ll have to do heavy-duty sales and marketing to get the word out about your new business. You’ll be making lots of cold calls. You’ll probably get lots of “no’s.” You’ll have to have a pretty thick skin in the beginning. Once you’re established, however, referrals will become a larger part of your business, and you may be able to back-off the cold-calling.
I’ll bet that you didn’t know that you’d be doing lots of sales-related activities as the owner of a senior care franchise.
It’s a great example of why it’s so important to visit with franchisees in-person, at their place of business, before you make a decision on a particular franchise business opportunity. (Especially in a competitive sector of franchising.)
After all, you don’t want any surprises, right?
Related information on SBA.gov- Follow these steps to starting a business
*Non-US Government website
About the Author
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of the book, Become a Franchise Owner! He's also a franchise ownership advisor; Joel teaches people that are interested in franchise ownership how to properly select and carefully research franchise business opportunities so they can increase their odds of success.
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