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How do you become a franchisee?
Hear from Nigel Toplis, Managing Director of The Bardon Group as he talks about how you can become a franchisee and how to find the right franchise for you.

Hear from Nigel Toplis, Managing Director of The Bardon Group as he talks about how you become a franchisee.

Nigel ToplisNigel brings some 20 years of experience in franchising to the group, is a fellow of Lancaster University, has written three books on franchising and was previously Chairman of the British Franchise Association (BFA).

He is supported by a team who have over 70 years’ combined experience in franchising with a wealth of experience in their own disciplines.

The Bardon Group is a specialist franchise operator with multiple franchise brands within its portfolio such as Recognition Express, Techclean and Kall Kwik.

How do you become a franchisee?

Getting into franchising can be difficult and confusing and shouldn’t be rushed into.

It is not a ‘spur of the moment’ decision – or at least shouldn’t be!

Finding the right franchise for you can be tricky. But after 23 years in franchising I think I’ve found the best way to find the most appropriate franchise.

It all comes down to one thing: assessing the suitability of the franchisor.

Do they have a proven business history, documented systems in place and will they explain them to you in advance? Furthermore, does the franchisor provide effective training and do they have a reputation for robust ongoing support with an evident structure? I also want credibility, so I would always be looking for their bfa membership – a sign of accreditation.

Once you are confident of the franchisors suitability then you need to be sure it’s a good market to get into; that demand for the product or service can be sustained and that there's room for growth.

How to become a franchiseeSo, you need to assess the competition.

You will get answers from the franchisor about the business in general, the market opportunity, their service support and so forth, BUT I would also want to ask questions of their franchisees.

Ask if they are making money, how many hours they work, if they get good support from the franchisor and if they’d buy into the same franchise again.

If the franchisor refuses franchisee access, that’s a red flag – walk away.

Assuming you've followed these steps, then you’ve probably narrowed your choice down to a couple of franchisors so it’s time to seek professional advice from a franchise lawyer to look over the agreement, a bank to talk finance and an accountant to help with your business plan.

These two last steps are especially important once you have your heart set on a franchise. Why? Because you need to figure out how to pay for it. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to beef up your war chest. From ransacking your savings and selling ISAs to asking parents and other relatives for help, you would be amazed where budding franchisees find the initial investment.

How to become a franchiseeRemember that a franchise is an investment, not a job, so you must determine exactly how much you need to invest and how much you’ve got. There is no point taking on a business that will only generate half of what you need. But also, beware over-extending – ensure you can make the repayments through the business.

Finally, no matter how good the franchise you need to be sure that you are the right fit for it. Be honest. Do your strengths and weaknesses match the criteria? Can you see yourself enjoying the business? Can you afford the business and is it a good investment? Do you think you can take the pressure? Finally, do you have confidence in your franchisor?

If you answer yes to all the above, then welcome to the world of franchising

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