When it is time to make the best decision about buying a franchise for you and your family, there are experts who welcome your questions and encourage a deep dive into franchise research.
You are done with the workforce. You might have spent time exploring many fields and gathering knowledge but not enough stability. Perhaps you experienced corporate layoffs, or spent a few decades becoming an expert and helping the owners of your company bake a rich financial pie only to realize that your slice is disproportionately small in exchange for the work you put into it.
You may even be a military Veteran with good reason to channel your discipline and leadership into your own venture. No matter what brought you to this juncture, it could be a fantastic one through franchise ownership, but caution will save you a lot of trouble right now.
Franchise success-rates are touted on broker sites all over the Internet, but they are frequently outdated or incorrect. You are going to make a major investment and franchise cost is a complex issue that should involve not just start-up capital, but the depth of training and support you deserve to receive.
The franchise you choose should present you with representatives who are fearless when it comes to your evaluation of all of the practical “micro” factors directly related to their franchise system. If they instead hide behind generalized statistics, you must be wary of the actual franchise for sale and delve deeper into other opportunities.
Pete Scaglione is the Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International in Dallas, Texas. Much like his colleagues at the #1 rated marketing and printing franchise, Pete is able to be fearless about sharing facts when people meet with him as they do their due diligence to find their franchise. If you presented him with news of what seemed like Minuteman Press scams, he would be in a direct position to address your concerns and help you discover the truth so you can make smart choices.
Here are three expert adviser tips for your early due diligence phase, courtesy of Pete Scaglione:
1. Hold nothing back: If you are feeling shy to ask me about any supposed Minuteman Press ripoff report – don’t. My colleagues and I have excellent reasons to find the best candidates for our available franchise opportunities and to do that we must be completely forthcoming. The great history of our company and what it takes to overcome common pitfalls that lead to franchise failure rates is a topic we welcome you to address. We can also outline the ways many franchise owners have taken their hopes to us and used our system to build a great business for themselves.
- Franchise Research Tip: The only way to get to the truth is to be direct with the representative of the franchise. The shady ones may be shy or fast-talking, but you should always be direct about your concerns and any statistics that you may have heard or read (Positive or negative). There are answers we can provide that will help you into the next step.
2. Make those visits to working centers: There really is no better way to get a inside view of the franchise than by talking with the owners. Ask questions and listen to as many owners of the franchise as possible.
- Remember at one time these entrepreneurs were also in your position of early discovery and you need to talk to them for full disclosure.
3. Involve everyone or anyone that’s going to play a part in your decision-making. Understanding the process of owning a franchise requires you to identify necessary roles. Hold the franchise representative accountable to answer key questions, such as:
- What part do you have in the process before opening? (Do you have choices or is it purely up to the franchisor?)
- What are all the benefits of being a franchisee? (Look for a royalty cap advantage)
- What about their role after the purchase? (Do they provide training and on-going support?)
- Are they up to the task of researching and providing what you need to know about the latest trends and advances in the industry?
Parris Frisby continues to create new successes for himself and his clients, but at one time, he needed to do his research into the best franchise opportunity for him. Ultimately, he bought a new Minuteman Press franchise in Akron, Ohio and credits the proven system of Minuteman Press International for being a credible adviser during discovery and a key component of his success in business.
His appreciation continues today as he leans on local support and special partnerships his franchisor makes with preferred vendors. “Turnaround time can be demanding in our business and customers may want something truly unique printed quickly. As part of Minuteman Press International, I have access to select vendors to help me with the most unusual or tricky jobs when we need to utilize technology we may not have in-house.”
Richard Hornberger, Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International in Philadelphia, has helped many cautious entrepreneurs find their way past common pitfalls that might otherwise derail their ambitions. Rich offers a valuable insider’s perspective on those who claim to be impartial experts, but may not be delivering advice in your best interests. He says, “Business brokers are only interested in selling the businesses they have listed. Their objective is simply to broker a deal so they can receive a commission that is usually their only objective. Once the deal is done, that broker will be nowhere in sight as they have no continuing interest in the success of the business, nor do they likely have the expertise to provide support and advisement.
He continues with a helpful distinction, “As representatives of a franchise, we have a continued interest in the success of each franchisee and we have the experience to assist in their success. Finding an appropriate business opportunity for a person is an important decision that shouldn’t be based salesmanship. Finding a business that the buyer is passionate about is crucial to their potential success. Our approach is based on personal visits to stores so one can visualize what the business is like. It also allows the person a chance to speak with the owners, to better understand the dynamics of owning a Minuteman Press franchise, the support and resources we provide and the understanding of how the business breaks down from a financial perspective.”
Above all, as you search for the wisest advisers, collect facts directly from the corporations’ representatives and from the franchise owners about the life you are about to lead. After all, when you buy your franchise and work on your venture, you deserve the right to speak as Parris Frisby does when he concludes: “We are proud of our turnaround time and ability to meet commitments. I do not like to tell people ‘No’ when they come to my center. The kind of advice and the level of support I have always received from my franchisor allows me to say ‘Yes.’”