Beth Nilssen
March 15, 2022 / Great Advice

The key signs of a great franchise opportunity

How do you know whether or not you have what it takes—temperamentally as well as financially—to own a franchise? And, how will you determine which franchise opportunity is best for you? 

The large part of my job is to recruit, evaluate, and encourage potential Great Clips franchisees, and, then, if they decide to invest in a Great Clips franchised walk-in hair salon, to help them succeed by setting them up with the right people at the corporate office. Another part of my job is to help those prospective salon owners—and our corporate office—decide whether they and Great Clips will be a successful match.

It’s not one-size-fits-all.

First, plenty of talented and ambitious entrepreneurs are not well-suited for any franchise business model. Second, franchise opportunities are not all alike. Before either the franchisee-prospect or the corporate entity commits to a substantial investment, each party needs to conduct a rigorous investigation into the potential for success. 

Think of it like dating. For a partnership of any kind to succeed, you need think long and hard about what you want in the relationship. In the case of becoming a franchisee, what strengths as well as weaknesses will you bring? Do you like the way your potential franchisor operates? And, what boundaries are you willing to recognize to make the relationship work? Your potential partner—in this case, the franchisor—will do the same.

MORE: Are Franchisors Too Picky?

So, how do you know whether or not you have what it takes—temperamentally as well as financially—to own a franchise? And, if so, how will you determine which franchise opportunity is best for you? 

Here is an overview of some of the ten factors to consider (from when deciding whether a franchise opportunity is right for you. 

Industry growth: What is the growth potential of the industry you’re considering? Don’t just look at the national figures—what’s the potential in your region? Some markets may be wide open, others might be saturated. (Find out about the strength of the haircare industry and view open territories for Great Clips.)

Unit growth: On-going growth in numbers is one way to evaluate the strength of the franchisor’s brand and name recognition. 

Franchisor support: What help will you get in finding a location for your business? What training is provided? Is there a support staff for franchisees? (Here’s an overview of the support and training Great Clips, Inc. provides its franchisees.)

Corporate level management: Does the corporate company have a history of success? Does it have a template for doing business that increases your chance of success? (Great Clips franchisees learn about Our Process, Your Business to start strong and grow their businesses. 

Marketing and advertising support: What marketing and advertising programs are in place? Does the corporate office track current trends, such as the use of social media and community involvement?

Satisfied franchisees: Meet and talk with current and former franchisees. Ask for their takes on the strengths and weaknesses of the business model. Are their regional peer groups of franchisees that support one another? Would they invest again? (During the Great Clips franchisee exploration process, prospects are provided a list of current Great Clips franchisees and are encouraged to personally contact them. Also, here are some videos about what it’s like to be a Great Clips franchisee.)

Numbers: Of course you want to know whether you can make a living with the business. What information will the franchisor provide? What will you find by doing your own research? Have your experts go over the documents to evaluate whether the franchisor is in sound financial shape.

Entrepreneur vs. franchisee: Does being a franchisee fit with your business goals and personality? (Here’s what is expected of a Great Clips franchisee.)

To me, good fit is the most vital factor of all when deciding whether to invest in a franchise business and, if so, which one. The match needs to be based on personality, passion, and skills so both franchisee and franchisor get what they’re looking for.

MORE: Fitting In 

Beth Nilssen 
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

As Director of Franchisee Development for Great Clips, my job is to help prospective franchisees figure out if investing in a salon franchise is a good match. Right now, we’re working with dozens of prospective franchisees who are going through the initial steps of exploration. I’d love to hear from you, wherever you are on this journey. Give me a call!

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on March 15, 2022
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