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Owning a business is a journey, and it comes in stages. You have to think about it, research, and accept that life will change from the minute you make that final decision to move forward. If you're successful, it can allow you to live the lifestyle you've always wanted, but if you're not, it can be hard to recover from.
Luckily, buying and operating a franchise in Canada is usually easier than trying to start a business from the ground up alone. Take a look at the three states of owning a franchise business and what you can expect from each one.
Stage One: The Search
At this stage, you have decided you want to own a business and that a franchise is the ideal fit. You'll also need to take a closer look at your finances and funding options to ensure you can buy a franchise.
Once you've decided your finances will allow you to open a franchise and you will be able to get the funding you need, you'll start looking for the right opportunity. In this stage, patience and research are essential. You will need to explore all the brands you are considering once you decide what type of franchise you want, and you will have to thoroughly research and vet each one.
Stage Two: Growth
Once you've met with the franchisor you've selected, signed all the paperwork and gotten trained, it's time to establish and open your business - and start building it.
Getting your location to the point of thriving and not just surviving will take a lot of work and energy. You'll need to build relationships and manage your cash flow so you have money available when you need it. At this stage, use your business plan as your guide. Amp up your marketing and your service level, and don't be afraid to use your franchisor for support. Ask questions, use any available resources, and learn from the franchisor.
Stage Three: Maintenance
In the third stage, your business is now a part of the local community and has matured. You've built customer trust, expanded your reach, and grown your profit. When you get here, it's time to be aware of threats to your business, such as new competition, and stay motivated. Challenge yourself so you don't become complacent. Set goals that aren't easy to reach to keep you on your toes.
With a franchise, you'll have to put in a lot of hard work, but the fulfillment from success is worth it. Always take your time and keep one eye on the future.