Small Business Franchise Opportunity
True Story - Real Facts and Pitfalls

My small business franchise opportunity began while actually working on my current business, which was at the time mobile catering. My business was successful but during the quiet periods I started to reflect on my business and think about my long term prospects.

So I started to ask myself a couple of questions

  • Where do I want to be in a 5 years time? 
  • Was it my current business?
  • Does my existing business offer me long term potential?
  • Can I leave my business for someone else to manage successfully?

 Well you see what I'm getting at here I'm looking for the long-term benefits in my business.

I knew that my business even though successful was not going to offer me the kind of financial security that I wanted. Food preparation and cooking is time consuming and hard work, and it was not the type of business that I could entrust someone else to manage.

Firstly you had to love food and enjoy cooking; entrusting the business to the wrong person could ruin your hard earned reputation and affect your business severely.

Change Of Direction

This is when I started to look at the small business franchise opportunity and discovered that a Franchise is one of the safest ways to go into business but at this stage I wasn't sure which type of business I wanted to pursue.

There are so many different types of small business franchise opportunities to suit everyone's taste. I did know one thing though, I didn't want a franchise that was food related but perhaps a business where the employees responsibility were more low key and a franchise with solid long term potential.

Research Different Franchises

So after researching a couple of different franchises, one small business franchise opportunity in particular caught my eye and it turned out to be a Commercial Cleaning Franchise. Before I rushed into making an appointment to see the Franchiser I thought I would do my own research .

The Franchise I was interested in seemed to be a solid Company not a vast company but a good size organization where you could speak to all members of the business including managing directors and accountants.

I didn't want a massive company where you were just a number but a more cosier relationship and because of their environmentally friendly approach to commercial cleaning they had the backing of a Bigger Parent Company which in itself was a multi-million multi-national cleaning services provider. I saw this as an added bonus which made them more credible in my eyes.

Check Franchise Financial Status
Before You Commit

This information made me more certain but there was one more final check on my chosen small business franchise opportunity to do, a financial status check.

To evaluate the financial status of a company, you can request a copy of any U.K LTD company financial accounts through Companies House. There is a small fee for this service but worth the money since I didn't want to hand over my hard earned cash only to discover that they are not a viable company.

You can even order a full set of accounts if you want some figures for your accountant to check through and it's only going to cost you a couple of pounds. Armed with my new found knowledge about my chosen small business franchise opportunity I was ready to make the appointment.

These checks are very easy to do yourself
Just go to www.companieshouse.gov.uk Go to Our Services...and simply type in the company name or company number of the business you are researching to receive a web check.  Great resource and but only applies to U.K Limited Companies

Meeting The Franchisor - The Final Stage

An introduction was arranged to meet at their head office and discuss the franchise further. After arriving we spoke to their small business franchise manager and asked all the common questions which you should prepare in advance.

It's a good idea to take someone with you such as a friend or even your accountant, someone who might ask a different question or see this small business franchise opportunity from a different perspective to yours.

My final question was to ask for the phone numbers of some existing franchises (proof) so that I could call to talk with. This will allow me to gauge the business and get some real feedback from which they were happy to do.

Its one thing to hear the Franchiser praising its own successful business system but a different thing to hear it from someone who's not directly linked to the company - someone who was once just like me. A new franchisee 

I spoke with 3 different franchisees about their small business franchise opportunity and got good feedback from all of them. Decision time, was I going to take the plunge? Of Course I Was...but ... Read the next episode and see how things didn't really go to plan.

Read About My Small Business Franchise Opportunity True Story Part 2

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