IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities. Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog has been provided by Jeff Levy, author of Making the Jump Into Small Business Ownership (https://www.amazon.com/Making-Jump-Small-Business-Ownership/dp/1935359835):
Franchises – A Deep & Diverse Sea of Investment & Business Opportunities
Think for a moment that you have had a 20-year career in a particular industry, with perhaps job changes two or three times. Think about how many people you might know who are still working, that actually get to a retirement age. It is a small number as retirement parties are like phone booths, almost nonexistent. In our new career economy, we are faced with the fact that as we get older our job security lessens. What can you do to protect yourself; is franchising a viable answer?
From my experience coaching hundreds of people, it makes sense to first develop a list of those things that are most important to you. Include income and return on investment goals, your personal communication style and applicable business skills, family members who may participate with you, and the optimum relationship between you and the one of the 80 industry sectors where you may start a franchise.
Most people tend to be attracted to a business they find interesting. That begs the question: Are you basing your interest from your perspective as a consumer or on unsubstantiated perceptions of a market, not necessarily understanding what is required to be successful at that business. What you need to consider is whether a business model correctly aligns with your goals, needs and expectations?
After 15 years of interviewing people who are considering franchising and who have actually moved in that direction my observation is individuals who develop a clear picture of the expected outcome, increase their chances of success. Those people use the franchise as a vehicle to achieve the important goals in their life. There is no perfect business, only those that you make perfect by achieving your goals.
I can’t diminish the importance of properly evaluating the franchise and there are definitely best practices that need to be followed. If I could highlight one best practice is to make sure that no one tries to sell you on a business.
You should have reasonable and thoughtful discussions with a representative of the franchise to help you understand the profile of the kind of person they are looking for. They will evaluate your financial appropriateness for the business and how your skills and motivations align with their goals. This usually takes two to four months. You also are entitled to review the franchise disclosure document which gives you significant information and encourages you to call existing franchises to better understand what their actual experience has been.
In closing, matching with a franchise is not only about finding a good business but about finding a business that is good for you. It is a viable way of creating your own economic security and freedom from layoffs and age discrimination.
If you have questions about this article or buying a franchise please contact Jeff Levy at (206) 914-1107 or JeffLTheESource@comcast.net. Mr. Levy is a Seattle based franchise coach, educator and author. His background is available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffrylevy/
IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.