For some people, setting up a franchise is easier than owning their own business. You get operational support; you maximize on the proven track record and get brand equity. However, before going into the process, you have to do your research and due diligence. Our article below will explore four initial steps you need to take when starting a franchise for your organic food business.
· Do Your Market Research
There is a lot of interest with regard to organic foods, and the business potential is massive. However, there still exists a lot of knowledge gaps because many people do not fully understand the Organic business. You, therefore, need to do your market research to understand better what you are getting into.
You will have to be aware of the different guidelines that govern the industry. You will, for example, find that the United States Department of Agriculture has stringent rules surrounding the Organic food sector. The rules cover everything that has to do with growing, processing, and even distribution. You need to know that the company you are thinking of getting into a franchise with is following the rules.
You also need to have relevant knowledge regarding franchising as a whole. You need to know how it works, what you should expect, how to pick the available options, among others. Get a franchise that responds to your specific needs. Each has different offerings, but some of the things you need to consider include:-
- Do you have a personal preference, for instance, do you want to sell organic baby foods. You may also want to sell organic health supplements, natural foods that focus on weight loss, among others.
- How much will the franchise cost you? There are specific fees that you will incur, including those the franchise holders will charge you. others include expenses for training, equipment, property lease, and insurance to name a few
- Are there any guidelines or policies you need to be aware of, and will they impact on how you run your business.
Make sure you are familiar with everything concerning the franchise you want to work with. You have many resources to aid in your research both on and offline. The first place to look for information is the website of the franchise holders to learn as much about them as possible. It is also a good idea to see what partners and customers are saying through testimonials and reviews.
· Contacting the Franchise Holders
When you are clear about the franchise you want to work with, you will need to contact them. They will then provide you with The Franchise Disclosure Statement or Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. The document will have everything the franchise holders will want you to know. Such information includes:-
- The rules of operating with them
- Any fees you may need to pay and any other financial issues
- What your responsibilities are once you come on board.
- The legal and financial history of the franchise. Ensure you have a thorough understanding of the document to avoid any problems in the future. If you need to, get the services of a lawyer to help walk you through the document.
· Plan a Visit to the Franchise
Planning a visit with the franchise holders is essential before you sign any documents. They will have a chance to walk you through the business, and you also get to meet the teams. You will get to know the values, corporate culture, and their policies. The franchise holders also take this as an opportunity to get to know you better. They have a stake in your company, and will not want to partner with the wrong person.
It would help if you prepare properly for that day; take it as a sort of interview. You need to convince the franchise holders that you are serious about the organic food business. They may ask you leading questions to gauge your level of awareness. Make sufficient time for the visit, because you may have to sit through several presentations. If all goes well, the franchise holders will extend an invitation to you to come on board.
· Review the Agreement Documents
You will get some documents that you need to review and sign. The documents are the formal contracts that will allow you to open your franchise. You will most likely also get a list of the rules and regulations you must adhere to. Once again, make sure you consult your lawyer before agreeing to anything. Get one with the relevant franchise experience so that they can assist with any questions you may have.
If you find that the contract does not favor you, you should raise the issue before appending your signature to the document. Some of the things that they need to outline including:-
- Legal support for any problems that may arise
- How they deal with suppliers
- Any fees that you may incur
- Issues around the transfer of ownership
- Royalty fees if any
- Staffing requirements
- Protection of your business territory, among others.
Remember, they are also in business and would want to do anything to make you succeed. The more your organic food business grows, the better the profit margins for both parties. However, they are in the industry to make money and may want to reduce their expenditure as much as possible. That is why you must take a good look at the contract so that you can protect your interests.
The organic food industry has a lot of potential, and getting into the right franchise can be very beneficial. We have focused on the first four steps you need to take when deciding on your franchise. We emphasize the need for market research so that you know what to expect. You must also take time to know the franchise holders, to protect your interests. Without taking the time to do your due diligence, you can lose a lot of money.