If you are thinking about entering the world of franchising, it’s best to do your homework to have a comprehensive understanding of what you are getting into. Although franchising provides a bit of a safety net for business owners, with its proven model, training and support—it is still an investment which means there is a risk, albeit less than if you were to go it alone in a start-up business. There are some common franchise problems that prospective franchisees may run into. Here are some ideas of what to watch out for to set yourself up for success.

Follow the Blueprint: If you are a free-spirit, wanting to pave your own way and create your own future with innovative ideas, franchising may not be the business model for you. Experts advise that franchisors are not looking for “change agents.” The reason you’ve been attracted to a certain brand is often because of its proven model, and franchisors mostly expect you to follow the blueprint they’ve painstakingly created. They want motivated and driven entrepreneurs who want to achieve success and profit.

Finances: Know your budget. Know what you can afford. Some of the most common franchise problems that new franchisees make are the result of entering a venture without having enough capital to see it through. Your franchisor will have a minimum net worth requirement and proof of necessary liquid revenues to clearly define the level of investment that is necessary. The approval process is complex, and it’s best to know that before you jump in. Although a franchisor will clearly indicate your required expenditures, there could be a period where before revenue starts coming in, you need to have enough tucked away to get by. Plus, prior to the approval process, you may find yourself needing help with financing. You will need to qualify. Have your finances in order prior to committing to a franchise. Most seasoned franchisors will have financing partners in place for you to evaluate. Those partnerships can be paramount in obtaining proper financing for your new venture.

Know Your Market: Investing in a franchise where it’s not needed could make a challenge even tougher than usual. Instead, research the marketplace to evaluate the potential success of your franchise. Gauge whether or not the concepts will work in your community and if it would fill a potential need or create value. What does the competition look like? If “the other guy” is across the street, will your business hold up against it? And will you get the customers you are looking for? Will the community support this new business and see its value? These are questions you need to assess prior to your investment, as well as when you form your business plan. Talking to existing franchisees in similar markets to yours can be a great way to evaluate your own future success.

Understand the Time Commitment: Before you invest your money and time, find out what type of commitment is expected of you as a franchisee. Many franchisors want you to manage day-to-day operations, at least at the onset of your ownership. Others are modeled for absentee ownership so that you can work in a full-time job and use the franchise for investment purposes. If that’s the case, you would need to hire a general manager and good employees to ensure success when you cannot be present. Whatever the case, this is something you need to learn before diving in. It’s essential to know that your desires and availability fit with the franchisor’s expectations for a successful owner.

Passion: The best success is achieved when you’re doing something you love. When you are passionate about what you do, you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and handling the challenges that come your way. That’s the type of franchise you should look for – one that aligns with your values and interests and provides a good work-life balance.

Wild Birds Unlimited: Do What You Love and Avoid Those Common Franchise Problems

At Wild Birds Unlimited, doing what you love is the basis of our company. Our franchise was founded on the enjoyment of backyard bird feeding and has grown into a profitable franchise with solid profit margins among our 350 locations in the U.S and Canada. We have a passion to share our knowledge of birds and the hobby of backyard bird feeding to our customers.

Combining the love of nature and business gives franchisees the opportunity to prosper. Plus, we are careful to guide our prospective franchisees through the process of ownership to avoid common franchise problems that they can encounter. We are looking for like-minded nature lovers who are motivated for success by following our proven model that has performed well for nearly 40 years providing superior training and on-going support to franchisees.

We know this is a big commitment of your time and money. We are very transparent letting you know what to expect financially. It begins with needing $40,000 to 50,000 of liquid capital and having $300,000 minimum net worth.

If you want to combine your strong business acumen with your enjoyment of birds and nature fill out this form and come join our flock.