It's not easy to be the new person in anything, and...
Learning from others: Considering mistakes other franchisees have made is a wise way to avoid the same fate. Before you make your final Canadian franchise selection, here are some pitfalls to sidestep.
A franchise that has been up and running for years requires the same level of research that a new location does. The same applies if you're buying from a friend or starting from the ground up. Don't shortchange any of the due diligence process, or you could wind up holding the short end of the stick. You also need to be ready to walk away from an opportunity that seems perfect on the surface but doesn't hold up when you look more into it.
A franchise needs to be started with a safety net just the same as an independent business. Never assume the business will make money in enough time to cover a shortfall. You could struggle to gain foot traffic, have unexpected expenses or face costly obstacles that weren't part of your game plan. Have enough money saved to cover your personal and business expenses for at least one year before you commit to a franchise. This way, if the unexpected happens, you have a reserve well to draw from while you ride it out and decide your next move.
Not all brands will weather an economic downturn the same. Consider the economic climate before you decide to invest. If it's heading downward and you're interested in a franchise that doesn't always do well when times are lean, consider waiting for better timing. Do some research on the industry the franchise is in to determine how well your business would fare in a downwind. People are often still willing to pay for education in a slow economy, for example, but not for a $5 coffee or ice cream.
A franchise demands your time and attention for success. You need to be able to fully dedicate yourself to it. If you are not able to do so right now, consider waiting to buy until you are able to fully immerse your time, passion and attention into your business.
Always trust your instincts when it comes to your franchise decision. By studying your opportunity and being honest about your personal circumstances, you'll be able to find the right franchise for you and the ideal time to join it.