Written by
Matt Frentheway

What to Expect When You Start a Franchise

If you're considering buying a franchise, you're on the brink of an exhilarating journey. Of course, there's the allure of entrepreneurial freedom and the opportunity to build a lasting legacy. But owning a franchise also requires a real financial investment, a willingness to delay gratification, and a meaningful time commitment. Let's take a look at what you should be prepared to give before you can succeed.

Understand the Financial Commitment

A franchise demands a substantial financial commitment. For many people, it's among the largest of financial commitments they'll make, next to buying a home. It's important to approach your decision mindfully.

  • Evaluate your financial readiness. Are you willing to allocate significant resources toward your franchise?
  • Anticipate the trade-offs. Some of your net worth will be tied up in your franchise. Are you ok with not having this capital available for personal or family goals, potentially for a few years?
  • Remember the rewards. A successful franchise can significantly enhance your wealth and provide for your family's future.

Brace for Delayed Gratification

Immediate returns are rare in the franchise world. Your timeline to profitability will vary. It will depend on factors like the type of franchise your choose, your initial investment, and your growth ambitions.

  • Set realistic expectations. A franchise consultant (me or someone else) can help you understand what you can expect from different types of franchise opportunities. With over 3,000 franchises available in the US, each franchise comes with different timelines for growth and profitability.
  • Stay proactive. You should expect to spend 10 hours a week managing your franchise. You'll want to apply your executive management skill to apply the franchise's best practices, adapt to your local market as needed, and ensure your success.
  • Believe in yourself. With a stock portfolio or real estate investment, you have limited control over your outcomes. In contrast, your franchise investment is fundamentally an investment in yourself. Your success will depend on your capacity to drive growth.

In the end, franchising can offer a level of autonomy and fulfillment hard to find in traditional corporate roles. Imagine tailoring your schedule to your personal life, not the other way around. You'll have freedom to spend time with you family, travel, or pursue other personal interests while your business produces cash on the side.

Prepare for Hard Work Ahead

Franchising is not a shortcut to success. It demands dedication, especially in the early stages.

  • Immerse yourself in learning. You'll wan to educate yourself about the franchise sector, as well as the specific franchise you end up choosing. To properly evaluate franchises, you should expect to spend 5 hours a week for 6-8.
  • Anticipate hands-on involvement. Once you start your franchise, expect to spend 10-20 hours a week for 2-3 years until your business reaches maturity. This investment is typically necessary to set up your franchise properly, oversee the build-out, and supervise marketing.
  • Focus on building systems. If you're like me, building systems is the fun part of setting up a business. It's like engineering your own money-making machine. Even if you plan to be a semi-absentee owner, establishing effective systems and a reliable team is crucial before you can step back from daily operations and let the business work for you.

Once your franchise is operating smoothly, the rewards of your hard work will become evident very quickly.

I have had some candidates get their businesses producing $10k/month profit in less than a year, and with them working less than 10 hours/week. But, it's better if you start with the expectation that you will have to put the work I benchmarked for you. It's important not to take shortcuts, and only step back once your business is working perfectly according to the brand's manuals and training.

Set the Stage for Your Success

To navigate the franchise journey successfully, consider these actionable tips.

  • Research thoroughly. Understand the market demand for the franchise, the competition, and the support offered by the franchisor.
  • Do financial planning. Develop a comprehensive business plan that includes detailed financial projections and contingency plans.
  • Build a strong team. Hire individuals who share your vision and commitment to your franchise's success.
  • Leverage your franchisor's resources. Make the most of the training, marketing, and operational support provided by your franchisor.
  • Focus on your customers. Deliver exceptional service and quality to build a loyal customer base and drive repeat business.

Starting a franchise venture is a huge step in your professional journey. If you're seeking an honest discussion about whether franchising aligns with your goals, I'm here to help. Let's explore the possibilities together over a 15-minute chat.

Matt Frentheway

As a successful franchisee and entrepreneur, I can help you find the best opportunity to realize your dream of being a profitable franchise owner. Using my proven process as a franchise consultant, we’ll define your goals, narrow the field, and select the best franchisor for you to achieve financial freedom.