Q: I want to buy a franchise but I\\\'m being held back by the thought of giving up my decision-making "independence". Should I be concerned about this? Are there drawbacks to owning a franchise which I should know about before I enter into this?
A: Following the definition of franchising, it is to be "in business for yourself BUT not by yourself."
What this means is that there is somebody providing you with support in managing your business under a brand.
Always remember that franchising should never be restrictive. In fact, franchisors allow franchisees parameters in managing the business. An example is coming up with local promotions. The franchisor gives guidelines on how to arrive at ways and means of promoting the business in the area of the franchisee.
It follows that franchising also means establishing a harmonious and synergistic relationship between the franchisor and franchisee.
Thus, before entering into a franchise agreement, there are several tips to follow:
1. Get to know if you really like the products/services of the franchisor.
2. Identify a location and conduct an objective study if and when the population is ready for such a business concept.
3. Have a meeting to find out if there is a "meeting of minds" and that you will be comfortable in doing business with the franchisor.
4. Lastly, go and speak with current franchisees to get a better perspective if they are satisfied with the current business franchise you are interested in getting into.
Armando "Butz" O. Bartolome 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.