Starting your own business is a big decision, often mixed with worry, and fear of what happens if things go wrong. Buying into a franchise can help with some of the concerns that offer you greater comfort than going it alone, but there are still some things that it’s certainly wise to consider. You need to give thought to whether a franchise is right for you before making a decision that will affect the rest of your life.

Here at Design Print Distribution Group, we have worked hard on our franchise package and ensure that all prospective franchisees understand what is involved and what it means to run a franchise for a successful business.

So here we help you make those critical decisions, know what you should ask yourself, and find out about the franchisor to ensure you make the best choice.

The experience you want from the franchise

Can you find a franchise that uses some of your skills or those you would like to learn? Being happy at work will make the days more pleasant, seem less of a chore and give you the kind of home/work-life balance that suits you. Ask yourself “What skills must I bring to make it work?’ “Do I have them, how can I learn them, and will the franchise owner offer training and support?”

Be realistic about the type of business that will work for you. You must know the hours and personal commitment necessary to run the business. Of course, no business can be successful without a degree of hard work, but choosing the right franchise will ensure that you can meet your goals.

Experience and track record

Look at the business you are considering. Look beyond the franchise package offered. Do the officers and directors have the business experience to guide you? How successful have they been in building their business? All of this is important. You need to know you are investing in safe hands.

It is essential to understand what it costs to join and how much you need to pay going forward to purchase continuance rights to operate the business. Look at the required equipment and whether the franchise offers this or whether they have preferred suppliers. You may be required to buy specific equipment or services from the franchisor, which can be a good thing, so don’t discount a franchise simply because they ask you to do so. Just make sure you understand your options.

Check out other franchisees in the business

Having a friendly chat with others already operating the franchise you are interested in will never do any harm. It can be a great way to get a natural feel for life working within the franchise industry and the particular niche you have chosen.

Support to grow

It’s essential to understand how you can and will find customers. How much support can your franchisor offer you to get started? Will a franchisor pass on leads or business in your area when you start or on an ongoing basis? Check how the franchisor will support you with training, experience and customer acquisition within the industry.

Align your values

It’s important that you align your personality with the business you choose. Don’t just look at the numbers. If you are unhappy, you aren’t likely to reach high earnings anyway. Consider the entire experience and choose the right one for you and your future.

Moving up and on

Look at your future; is there room to grow as you gain experience? Is there room to move to a less hands-on role if you take on employees? Consider how the business will look as it grows.

And lastly, the bit that we hope is never needed. It’s important to understand what exit strategies are possible. Understand the business as the owner, not an employee, to make the best decisions.

At The Design Print Distribution Group, we know choosing a franchisor – or a franchise – isn’t an easy decision to make. However, if you’re looking to benefit from our experience, knowledge and great industry reputation, along with plenty of support, we’d love to talk to you about how our business model could be your best decision ever.