If you’re enticed by the idea of starting and running a business, you might also be struggling with some internal doubts. It’s an exciting pursuit, of course, but the risks can also feel overwhelming.

This is why franchising is appealing. It’s a way to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of running a business without needing to start entirely from scratch.

Opening a franchise isn’t the easy route, however, and you shouldn’t discount the work it takes to do so. There are a number of factors to weigh before jumping in and banking on success. Here are just a few of them.

Is the brand well-known?

Before opening a franchise, do your due diligence. Research the franchise history, consult with lawyers and accountants on the finer details and get first-hand accounts from other franchisees.

Additionally, get to know the brand you’re interested in representing. Does it already have a lot of visibility in the market? Or is the potential for becoming a well-known and loved brand high based on the quality of product? If you’re not sure how to begin answering these questions, it doesn’t hurt to survey family and friends. 

One of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome when opening a franchise is getting people in the door. Understand the customer base and be honest with yourself about whether the product will perform well based on your location and recent consumer trends.

What does the barrier to entry look like?

Along these lines, you should be examining the barrier to entry relative to costs. Will the start-up money you’re on the hook for give you enough return on investment to not only break even but profit?

You should also be critical of the start-up costs presented by the franchise. This is why talking to franchisees personally can be beneficial since they’ll likely have an unfiltered view of what it takes to get things up and running.

For example, actual marketing costs — especially if the franchise isn’t well-known yet — can be much higher than the figures advertised. It can be hard to predict how much a tactic like social media ads will cost until you’re actually in the thick of running them.

How many franchises have been opened and closed?

Personal accounts and testimonials aside, you should also dig into actual numbers for a well-rounded understanding of the franchise company’s success. Look historically at performance.

How many years has the company been in business? How many franchises have opened and closed as of late? How many years of experience does the management team have in the market?

There’s no such thing as asking too many questions when it comes to your business’ viability, no matter how trivial they may seem. The more thorough you are from the start, the better equipped you’ll be to overcome hiccups should they arise.

The above only scratches the surface when it comes to franchise considerations. Set aside an hour of your time and learn everything you need to know in our on-demand webinar here.