If you ask any franchise broker which franchise they are asked about the most, the odds are the answer will be Subway.
The reasons may be obvious (well known brand, seem to be lots of customers in them), but most people should pause before going down this path to soon.
Many people explore franchises because they want to earn more money, have more control over their lives and not have to be under the thumb of some stressed out boss. Their expectation is that having more control will make work life more pleasant and of course being their own boss will allow them to earn a greater income.
But what many wanna be franchise owners don’t evaluate is how well a concept (like Subway) is aligned with their skill set, life style preferences and even income needs. For example, perhaps you know how to make a great sandwich, but have never managed a teenage workforce (with Subway, a minimum wage likelihood). Or, you may be great at managing operations, but don’t like to get out and about and do external marketing. Often the expectation is that you simply put a Subway sign up, hire staff, organized the sandwich bar and the customers will simply walk in the door! Business ownership should be so easy!! Having known more than one Subway owner, I assure you it is a bit more complicated than this.
When exploring franchise ownership the most important steps you should take are to sit down and write down what you want your life to look like as a business owner. Do you want to go out and get your customers or have them come to you? Do you want to lead a team or work solo? Should you lease a retail location or would you prefer to work from home or a small office? What type of customers do you want? If you open a sports bar, you’ll likely have predominantly males who are consuming alcohol as your clientele. What income must you earn to make it worth the risk? Will your family or friends be involved? Will you commute? Will you spend the majority of your time doing something you enjoy or will you simply be chasing profits doing whatever it takes.
As you scan the franchise universe, be careful about being sold by any franchisor on their concept without giving considerable thought to these and other relevant questions. Find a franchise consultant (their services are typically free as they are paid by franchisors to recruit you), and the lessons they will teach you about finding a great franchise fit, may save you YEARS of business heartache and pain.