Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Do You Know People Who Need Pizza or Birdfeeders? Questions You Should Ask Before You Buy Into A Franchise

May 14, 2009, 07:43 AM by
Read 'Do You Know People Who Need Pizza or Birdfeeders? Questions You Should Ask Before You Buy Into A Franchise' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Not every company suffers during times of economic uncertainty. Despite the relative lack of confidence, consumers will always buy what they find necessary. And what is it they find most necessary? According to Business Week; McDonald's double cheeseburgers. Before I receive warranted criticism from the Department of Public Health, let me explain that the example above is meant to illustrate how to start and promote a successful business, rather than how to start and promote a successful diet. Starting a franchise, like McDonald's, offers numerous benefits for small business owners, including built in brand recognition and corporate discounts. KRIS TV recently posted an article by Anne Kates Smith and Jonathan N. Crawford titled "Fighting The Recession With A Small Business Of Your Own" which shared the story of Wayne Salk who decided to start a Wild Bird Center franchise: "Salk, an avid birder, is scouting a location for a Wild Bird Center franchise. The stores sell seed, feeders and other accessories for backyard bird buffs. He likes the proven formula of a franchise: He can draw on expertise from the main office and enjoy bulk-buying discounts in exchange for a percentage of his sales. Salk estimates the store will cost $140,000 to $150,000 to set up — most of his retirement savings and a small inheritance." Wild Bird Center is just one of many franchises who are making it easier for new small business owners to dive in, as Smith and Crawford continue: "Other franchises, including Orlando-based sun shades manufacturer SKYShades commits to refunding its $75,000 fee if new store sales fall short of $1.5 million over three years. Texas-based CiCi's Pizza commits to waiving a $25,000 fee for existing CiCi's franchisees who buy another franchise." With minimized start-up fees added to the list of franchise benefits, it may be tempting for those considering buying into a franchise to dive in without as much preparation as they had planned. However, despite the waived fees, bulk-buying discounts, and built-in brand recognition, those considering a franchise still have to carefully consider and weigh the odds of success, like any other company. As Smith and Crawford’s story for KRIS TV continues: "The jobs outlook is bleakest for automotive businesses, retail food operations, and retail products and services — each is predicted to lose more than 5% of workers. But fast- food and full-service restaurants will grow in number and log a net increase in employment, and personal services won't suffer much." In other words, some types of companies will fit in perfectly and have a much greater chance to succeed in today’s marketplace than others. This remains the same whether you buy into an existing franchise, or start a business from the ground-up. The key to launching a new business is to offer something that truly speaks to the needs of the consumers you target. Think back to the title of this post for the first question you should ask yourself do you know people who need pizza or birdfeeders? And if you need some additonal resources, Business Owner's Toolkit offers several articles to help you determine when and if it's the right time for you to start a franchise. A sampling of these resources may be found below: