From many years of experience, I believe you should never buy a franchise without getting expert assistance and advice. In the same way that you wouldn’t buy a house without using a surveyor.
Buying a franchisee is a major decision and commitment not just of money but of time and dedication and adequate time should be taken to ensure that the correct due diligence is undertaken.
Even If you feel that you’ve landed on an opportunity that makes perfect sense for you…in your specific situation, pay for advice. This is not the time to take a solicitor to lunch to just pick his or her brain or just seeking family advice from related professionals.
Even speaking with a qualified accountant is not enough because they may know their way around a P&L sheet and business plan but do they know you, your strengths and weaknesses and are they able to assess the short, medium and long-term view of the particular market the potential franchise is operating in.
Franchise consultants, brokers-they’re sometimes called; often don’t charge for their services. That’s because they’re paid by the franchisors that they’re contracted with. They’re generally not going to want to help you with a franchise opportunity that you’ve located on your own because they’re not getting paid a commission on them or they are not going to give you independent best advice.
Ideally use a independent franchise consultant that is not tied to any specific group of franchisors and it is worth paying an initial engagement fee to ensure that the advice is both independent and of good quality. The small cost can save you a great deal of money and heartache and most good franchise consultants will have an initial consolation with charge where you can find out in detail how their service works and how they will work to ensure that you get the best possible franchise to suit your skills, behavioral style preferred lifestyle and budget.
One franchise guidance service that works to that formula is the Mr Franchise service who as the name suggests has complete expertise in assisting individuals with their exploration of franchise opportunities.