How to pick the right franchise: 4 top tips from franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Gerrie Richardson from McDonald's has been a franchisee for 12 years, while Erdal Ismail is celebrating 25 years as a franchisee with 7-Eleven. Here they share their tips on how to get it right when looking for the business opportunity that will suit you.

1  Franchisee research

Do as much research as you can, says Erdal. Talk to franchisees about their business, and don't just pick the successful franchisees to speak to. Make sure you contact franchisees who have been in the system a long time – they will have seen highs and lows in their business, and can give you a realistic view of what it's like to be a franchisee in the network.

2  Research the location

It's important to look beyond the information you get from the franchisor or franchisee selling a franchise. Getting a location that works for the business is crucial to your success, whether that's a greenfield (new build site), or an established venture.

Gerrie recommends doing your own on-site research for existing locations; for instance, checking the car park traffic and where the customers go once they've parked – will they be visiting your store or going elsewhere?

3  Passion

Erdal stresses the importance of finding a business you can be passionate about because you'll be in the business for a long time.

4 Remove the emotion

Be passionate, agrees Gerrie, but don't confuse passion with emotion when selecting the franchise. Make sure you are hard-headed about the business opportunity, be vigilant about the financials, ensure you are comfortable with the franchisor and the vision for the brand, and be prepared to walk away if you have doubts.