Q: I\\\'m still in college but I\\\'ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur. In fact, I\\\'ve been helping out every summer in our family business. However, I would like to strike out on my own, even at this early stage. Can a college student be a franchisee?
A: In general, a student may avail of a franchise under his own name, provided he is 18 years old and above and is not disqualified by law to put up a business. It also depends on the franchisor--some franchisors allow student franchisees, others don\\\'t.
Aside from the legal aspect of having a business, there are vital factors a student should look into if he wants to become a franchisee.
Before getting into franchising--indeed, before getting into any business--a student needs to review the time he can spare on the business without affecting his studies. Take into account that most franchisors want hands-on management from franchisees. Besides, franchising success doesn\\\'t depend on the strength of the brand you\\\'re franchising, but on your active involvement in the business.
2. FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Assess your available funds. Should there be a need to borrow money, source from your immediate family or close relatives first, since a student may not be qualified to borrow from a bank due to lack of credit history. But even if you borrowed from your kin, have a written agreement stating the terms of payment.
3. THE RIGHT FRANCHISE
Identify and study the franchise which appeals to you. As this will be your business, be objective and meticulous in analyzing the type of franchise you desire. Before finalizing your choice, conduct a thorough observation of the various branches of the franchise, speak with current franchisees, and make a financial projection.
4. YOUR WILLINGNESS AND COMMITMENT
Getting into a franchise requires commitment. There will be challenges along the way. However if there is a strong synergy between the two parties--the franchisor and the franchisee--the partnership can create and spell success.
Armando "Butz" O. Bartolome, the Philippines\\\' Franchise Guru, is currently President of GMB Franchise Developers, the pioneer franchise development company in the country and is behind the growth and expansion of over 200 local companies. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.