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Should you open a franchise?

Many Virginia entrepreneurs know that opening a franchise can be an incredibly successful endeavor. In order to make it successful, it's important to plan for the expected and unexpected, and to be willing to put the time and effort into getting it off the ground. It's not as easy as just writing a check and getting some branded decals in the mail, but some franchises make it easier than others to succeed and run a profitable business. One of the elements that experts say can help define a successful franchise is the training provided by the parent company.

The training programs have become an essential part of business planning for both the franchise itself and for the franchisee. Training programs before a franchise opens and intermittent sessions later on help maintain quality and uniformity across different locations, which is good for the parent company. The franchisees also benefit from keeping up-to-date on the best practices and making sure their location is doing everything it can to be successful.

Lenders also like to see the training programs in place, viewing a well-connected and trained franchisee as a safer investment than someone without a lot of experience. Some of the training programs as so extensive that they can ready a franchisee to do any job at their location, which in turn makes them a more effective owner and manager.

For Virginia small business owners who are considering opening a franchise, this is an important element to planning the business and ensuring its success and may be a major factor to consider when choosing a specific franchise to purchase. A well-run training program can also be an indicator of how the parent company is run in general, and can provide a preview for what it will be like to have an ongoing relationship with that company.

Source: Wall Street Journal, " Before You Open That Franchise, It's Back to School" Elizabeth Garone, Nov. 8, 2012

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