So, you’ve decided to jump into the world of franchising. Understandably, purchasing a franchise can be both exciting and a bit scary. With more than 750,000 franchises in the United States alone, representing nearly 4000 individual brands, this may seem a bit overwhelming. Put your mind at ease and follow this guide to find out what you need to know before you buy.

Franchising has grown in popularity over the years because it is a less risky business venture for those with the entrepreneurial spirit, who dream of owning a business but don’t want to go it alone with a start-up business. Rather than starting from scratch and learning all the ins-and-outs of a new business, you can instead invest in a turnkey business model. Franchising affords you the opportunity to hit the ground running from day one. You utilize a proven business model from an established brand, with a built-in customer base, providing a safety net for you as you venture into new territory. You will get well-acquainted with the common concept that franchising is about “being in business for yourself…but not by yourself.”

Franchisee Qualities

First things first. You want to ensure you’re making a good decision in becoming a franchisee. You need to know if you have what it takes to do so. Self-evaluation will help in your decision making. It begins with your personal plan. What does your five- or ten-year plan look like and does a business opportunity align with those plans? Franchise agreements typically mean you will be committed to a business contract for a significant time period. Does that feel right for you?

Your self-assessment should include what makes you tick, because it translates to what kind of franchise you choose. The most successful business owners are those that are enjoying something they are passionate about or love doing on a daily basis, especially if you decide to be hands-on with your business. What business experience do you have that will line up with a certain brand? Although most franchises include training opportunities for franchisees, it’s always good to have some basic understanding of how businesses work, including finances, marketing, and management.

A few other key attributes for successful franchisees include being organized, the ability to interact with people, good leadership skills, being adaptable, communicating well, willing to take risks, and being highly motivated.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Franchise

Before you sign on the dotted line, remember that this is an investment of your money. Take a good hard look at your personal finances and determine if you have the resources to purchase a franchise or if you will qualify for a loan to purchase the business.

When you’ve pared down your options, it’s time to seriously evaluate the franchise itself. Begin with doing your due diligence and understanding the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document or FDD. This is a detailed look at the business relationship between the franchisee and franchisor, as regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.

Investigate the franchise inside and out. Is it a solid, respected brand in the marketplace? What does the competition look like?  Look at the reported revenues and growth in the market. Is the company turning a profit and have a blueprint to continue that? Determine whether or not this is an in-demand business. Knowing you will be contractually obligated to remain with this business for a decade, you do not want to invest in a fad or something trendy that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Find out how long the brand has been in operation and how well the franchisees are doing.

Franchise Support

Some of the best intel you can acquire is talking with current franchisees. At Wild Birds Unlimited, we encourage potential franchisees to speak with existing store owners. We believe in complete transparency throughout the process of purchasing a franchise. After all, we want your franchise ownership to be successful for you and for the system as a whole.

Wild Birds Unlimited has been bringing people and nature together for more than 40 years. We are leaders in the wild bird feeding market, which has become a $5 billion industry.

We have more than 350 franchise locations, and our franchisees will tell you that they’ve received unmatched training, prior to their store opening. Our business coaches are dedicated to helping franchisees navigate the business process. We educate our franchisees about finance, marketing, merchandising and purchasing, human resources, technical training, and even nature and hobby instruction.

Understand the Fees

Part of the training you will receive through Wild Birds Unlimited, is understanding the financial investment you will be making. Franchising itself has been around for 150 years, so know that following a proven business model is good opportunity. But knowing you are partnering with a growing industry that has secured a niche market like we have, is a solid investment.

At Wild Birds Unlimited, your outlay is clearly presented. We look for franchisees to have $40,000 to 50,000 of liquid capital and a $300,000 minimum net worth.

Your initial franchise fees run anywhere from $185,179 to $311,043, including a $40,000 franchise fee. As explained by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), The franchise fee is customary for any franchise and is basically the cost of entry for use of a franchisors’ proprietary business systems. It’s your license to own and operate your business with the brand name.

Franchising with Wild Birds Unlimited

If you are looking for a franchise that brings joy to you and your customers by sharing our passion for birds and knowledge about the hobby of backyard bird feeding, then Wild Birds Unlimited is just the franchise for you. Fill out this form and learn more about a well-known brand, providing unparalleled training and support with a community of like-minded business people who share a love of nature.