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A Business Plan Should be a Requirement for Buying a Franchise

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If a franchise candidate was required to write and submit a business plan to the franchisor before final approval I truly believe the result would be less franchisee failures and more successful franchise networks. This article presents the reason why.

Visit any website that offers advice on starting a new business or expanding an existing one and youíll find articles and advice on the importance of writing a business plan.  There are tips ranging from how to write an effective business plan to the reasons why itís so important.

 During my early years in the franchise industry I spent some of my time meeting with and evaluating franchise candidates and I can recall only a small number of these candidates submitting a business plan. However, I had always felt that the process of writing a business plan was valuable for an individual on the cusp of purchasing a franchise.  As a result, during my career as a franchise executive, I instructed my franchise sales team that it was a requirement of all candidates at a particular stage in the franchising process to submit a business plan.

I believed then and continue to believe today that the process of writing a business plan should benefit both the franchise candidate and the franchisor. Why donít more individuals write a business plan as part of their franchising process? Perhaps itís the result of the belief by some that buying a franchise has far fewer risks than starting up a new business, which is not universally true; since franchisees and franchisors do fail. 

I would advise every franchise candidate to write a business plan before signing the franchise agreement and for their part franchisors should require an individual to submit a business plan before receiving final approval for a franchise.

Here are ten reasons why a prospective franchisee should write a business plan:

  1. The process of writing a business plan requires focus and attention on the key details of a franchise operation
  2. A business plan serves as a form of checklist for opening, operating and growing a franchise
  3. A key component of a business plan is the competitive climate and potential challenges in the marketplace
  4. Constructing pro forma financial statements and cash flow projections will require financial data gathering from the franchisor and existing franchisees
  5. The financial models require the franchisee to obtain cost and expense data pertaining to staffing levels, supply and product costs and other operational expenses.
  6. In the absence of an earnings claim by the franchisor a franchise candidate could at the very least construct revenue and income projections
  7. Establishes key milestones for franchise financial performance ranging from break even to profitability
  8. A business plan is necessary in order to obtain funding from a lender
  9. A comprehensive way to evaluate the franchise opportunity by raising numerous questions
  10. Provides a document that franchisor staff and franchises can review and comment on. The type of response from a franchisor might provide an indication of how committed they are to their franchisees

Individuals that have an interest in purchasing a franchise should construct a detailed business plan. The process of constructing a business plan will require the candidate to dig deeper into the franchise operation. In order to lower the risk of franchisee failures franchisors should make it a requirement of franchise candidates to submit a business plan.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

 

 
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