What to consider when investing in a franchise system

Considerations for investing in a franchise systemWith our economy on the upswing, it’s a great time to get into franchising, as this is when small businesses thrive and consumer spend is back on track. Franchising has proven to be a secure option in an uncertain economy, but it is important to invest in the right franchise system. It is not a decision to be taken lightly by any means. Prospective franchisees should do their homework and take time to find a system that suits their skills and needs as well as ensuring the business is robust and can stand the test of time.

Large vs. small franchise systems
Recently, small to mid-sized franchises have been making their mark by reaching niche markets. The great thing about these systems is that they often provide more individualised support for their franchisees. However, for smaller franchise systems to succeed they must have a strong unique selling point to differentiate their brand identity from larger systems. Look for a franchise that has a unique, yet well-proven offering. Find a point of difference, or a gap in the marketplace. At Crust, our strategy has been to grow strategically, carefully positioning our stores to generate brand awareness and maximise market share.

Strength of the industry
Look for a resilient industry that will survive the ups and downs in the economy and can adapt to ever changing consumer trends. While many franchise systems felt the pinch this year, the takeaway food industry flourished. This was because consumers were trying to cut back on dining out and were looking for cost-effective food options without compromising on quality. There was also a noticeable shift towards healthier options on takeaway menus, driven by time-poor consumers aware of the need to have a well balanced diet. It is important to ensure you are on top of consumer trends and have a thorough understanding of how the industry adapts to changing trends.

Well-proven system
Look for a franchise system that has a sound and proven business model. Testimonials and case studies from current franchisees can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a franchise system. Having a strong franchise model can make all the difference. Ensure the current processes, procedures and structures are in place to facilitate growth, while at the same time, assisting each franchise to grow.

Having done your homework and considered the many franchise options available to you, you’ll be ready to make a commitment and jump head first into owning your own business.

– Michael Logos is the co-founder and CEO of Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars (www.crust.com.au)

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