Franchise Fee - What does this pay for?

Posted by Jim Otto


"What is the Franchise Fee?" This is perhaps one of the most common questions asked by a potential franchise buyer. And while this is certainly one of the considerations when researching a franchise system, it's definitely not the most important figure to look at. Why is this?

As the franchise fee is the initial fee charged by the franchisor, it allows a franchisee the rights to use the logo and systems, and start a business with those items. But, what you get for that fee with each franchisor does differ. The most important thing that you are paying for is the learning curve that the franchisor paid for with years of previous experience. This is what you need to find out about. For example, there are franchised companies out there with huge differences in the amount of experience they have in operating the concept that you are buying. There are also companies out there seeking out new businesses to franchise. These are usually companies that market franchises. They charge the franchisor the fees to do the legal and set up work to make them franchisable, and then also charge them to do the marketing. If the franchisor does not have many years of operating history, then they will still be learning as they are also franchising - this is can be a dangerous combination!

The learning curve is the MOST valuable asset that you aquire when investing in a small business franchise! At Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, the operating history was 13 years before franchising. Most successful "new" franchises have suprisingly long operating histories. Five Guys Burgers and Fries may seem newer, however they have been in business since 1986, and began franchising in 2001! Starbucks began opening coffee shops in 1985, and Papa Murphy's Pizza opened in 1981 and started franchising in 1995!

As companies grow, they have successes and failures. This is normal. When you invest in a franchise most of the franchise fee is for the avoidance of those failures! Those failures may have cost the franchisor hundreds of thousands of dollars. This alone can make the franchise fee a real bargain!

Besides the operating history of the original concept, 0ther questions to ask about the franchise fee are:
  • How much training is included with this fee? Every system has different training, some may be at the franchisor's office, some may be online, and some may be at your place. A detailed outline of the training you should receive is included in the Franchise Disclosure Document in Item 11.
  • What items are provided? Do you get manuals? Most often you should get a Pre-Opening Manual and then also an Operations Manual. There may be other items that are neccesary to your business - which of those are provided and what must you pay for going forward?
  • What kind of access will there be to other franchisees or management?
  • What kind of ongoing support is offered with the system?
  • Will the system be improved as it grows?
  • What is the vision of the Franchisor?

Investing in a small business franchise system can be a great opportunity! Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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