As I speak with hundreds of entrepreneurs across the Philippines, a common question that’s asked is “What’s the best franchise to invest in?” I wish there was a simple answer to this, but finding the right franchise for you is a very personal decision and the answer may be different for every person. So instead, I prepared a five-point checklist for would-be franchisees before they take the plunge:
Unique brand and concept that you love
As with most things in business and life, finding the right franchise starts with something that you love. Look for a business that you would be proud to call your own, a brand that you believe in and a product and/or service that you are excited by.
Financially profitable & stable
Franchising is about duplicating a successful business, so make sure that you find a franchise that has the right profitability for the investment that you put in. Understand the payback period – the length of time that it will take to recover your investment. And understand the monthly profitability so you can decide whether to give up a job for this franchise or if the cash flow is right for your lifestyle.
Rigorously developed franchise program
Not all franchise programs are created equal. Some entrepreneurs wake up one day and decide to franchise their business out and do so by downloading agreements and manuals online and just decide on fees and royalties based on just looking at the rest of the brands. Others, however, take the time to work with franchise consultants to rigorously develop every aspect of the program from the business planning, to operations manuals, legal agreements down to marketing and sales strategies. So when finding your perfect franchise, make sure you understand how the team prepared the franchise program.
Aggressive marketing and innovation program
Franchisors typically charge franchisees a monthly marketing fee. Understanding where these fees go and how the franchisor uses it to build the brand is important so you understand how the brand owners are taking care of, and growing the brand. As the brand grows, so does your store. Equally important is how often they innovate on their products, foods or services. Imagine owning a food franchise that only serves one item and never introduces something new… it would be very difficult to keep on attracting customers over the long term.
Franchising has a 90% success rate because of the continued support that franchisors give franchisees. So understand the type of support you will get and who will support you from the head office. This is crucial as you continue to learn the business and leverage on the experience of the franchisor so you don’t have to make the same mistakes as them.
With over 1,600 franchise brands to choose from, Filipinos have never been more spoiled with choices. This checklist should help guide you as you narrow down and choose the right one for you.
Finding the right franchise starts with education. U-Franchise conducts regular “How to Invest in the Right Franchise” seminars. For more information visit www.ufranchiseasia.com or call(+632) 6340586 , (+63917) 8816999
Chris Lim is the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Strategy of Francorp Philippines (francorp.com.ph); President of U-Franchise Sales & Management (www.ufranchiseasia.com); and Chairperson and Director for Special Projects, ASEAN Integration-Philippine Franchise Association.