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10 Things to Consider Before Opening a Franchise Business

Over the past few years, India has successfully emerged as a market with tremendous opportunities for upcoming businesses and long-term investments. Simultaneously, the mindset of the Indian educated has shifted its axis, and each passing day brings a fresh arsenal of budding entrepreneurs striving to make it big. The following ten tips endeavor to help you get a step closer to successfully starting your own new franchise business.

Do Your Research
Exhaustively research all the options available to you. Find out the niches that the Indian market thrives in, and the ones that could prove to be risky. Decide which industry you wish to delve into, and then decide how profitable that particular industry is, in the Indian market.

Build Your Network
Business thrives on networking. Once you’ve decided the industry you’re starting your franchise in, build the right contacts in that particular industry. Networking is fairly easy in a country like India – get in touch with a few right people, and soon enough those few people would have expanded your reach to all the nodes in the network, weaving together contacts who could someday help your business.

Know your options
Once your network is in place, you can start looking for franchises. Find out where the business you’re opening your franchise with stands in the Indian market. Find out what the future prospects look like, and what the growth rate is like. You do not wish to make hasty investments that end up crashing and burning out before you could reap any real profits out of them.

Sort out your finances and working capital
Start with figuring out the means for the initial investment: whether you have savings that could be used, or if loans will be required, or if you have investors or partners interested in the business. Also, sketch a financial plan to ensure a steady working capital.

Sort out logistics and facilities
Figure out logistical details like whether to lease/rent or buy facilities for the franchise, whether the franchise will be online or offline, whether the franchise will involve plastic money or the more conventional paper money (and, accordingly, whether additional logistics to handle the plastic money will be required).

Plan Your Human resources
Your resources, especially the human resources, are what will make or break your business. Ensure you have the best human capital available, along with monetary capital to sustain these resources. Invest in training to ensure consistency and efficiency across resources before you start your franchise.

Know your competitors
Know who your competitors are and always strive to be one step ahead of them. Find out the facilities offered by your competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and Unique Selling Propositions. All you need to do is bring something new, something out-of-the-box to the market. Try to surprise your customer each time. A pleasant surprise earns more publicity than the most impeccable example of expectations met.

Know your client
Client service must be all-surpassing for an aspiring entrepreneur. Figure out what your primary client base will be – their age group, profession, income bucket, marital status, and other such statistics. For instance, a food chain for college-goers would focus on providing economical eat-out options, as opposed to a fine-dining restaurant catering primarily to corporates. Employ some basic analytics to find out what your target audience needs.

Know the law
Many a franchise has failed because of shoddy legalities. Ensure that you’re well-versed with the laws involving your franchise in India as well as in your own state/city/region.

Set targets that can be achieved
Set milestones and targets that need to be achieved and met at regular intervals of time to ensure, periodically, that your achievements are aligned with your goals.

At the end of the day deciding to open a franchise is like any other small business. You need to do your research, understand the customers, the market and the business. You get a LOT of support as a franchise business but you pay for that either up front or over time. You need to decide do I need this suport to make it an easier journey for me (albeit not guranteed!) in exchange for giving someone a chunk of my profits or do I take the bigger risk and go out on my own. High risk high return. The choice is yours!

By: Spencer Waldron http://www.zoostr.com

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