Franchise Equipment Buying Guide

You've done your homework and gone through the process, and now you're getting ready to open the doors of your Canadian franchise. One of the first things you may have to do is stock your new location with equipment.

The type of equipment needed for a franchise varies by brand and industry. A home-based franchise, for example, tends to have very little equipment, while franchises in the food or fitness industry need many things. Your franchisor will guide you in terms of which type of equipment you will need, but there are still some considerations you'll have to mull over on your own.

What will this cost?

Before you invested into your franchise, you should have received a general estimate on the cost of the equipment. Now that you're at the point of buying, you'll have to move beyond generalities and get specific. Costs for equipment can add up very fast, and you may need to get a loan to cover the expense. If you are thinking about using financing to get the equipment, have the pricing completely nailed down so you're presenting your needs to the lender in full. Otherwise, you may end up with a loan that's too small to cover your equipment cost.

What about used?

In some situations, you may be able to cut your costs down by buying used. Depending on what you need, you may be able to find equipment offline and online. Just keep in mind that not all resellers are equal. You are taking more of a risk when you buy equipment on eBay, for example, than a from a reseller in your industry with a good reputation.

If you're inheriting equipment, what is its state?

In some situations, you may get used equipment from a previous franchise. In this scenario, you know where the equipment is coming from, but the quality can range from great to abysmal. Before you determine what else to buy, examine any equipment that is being given to you. There's no way of knowing how well the previous franchisee maintained the items you're getting, so you'll need to inspect and test each piece.

Before you start spending capital on new equipment for your business, you need to know how much buying new will cost, if buying used is an option and whether any inherited equipment is worth using. That way, you'll be able to make a realistic determination of what you'll need to invest in.