Is being a franchisee the right opportunity for you, and, if it is, how do you undertake it? A recent seminar hosted by The Small Business Development Center at Kean University comprehensively explored franchising, addressing topics including, but not limited to: where a person can obtain necessary funding; the different types of franchises available; and the “pros and cons” of franchising.
David Margulies, regional director at The Small Business Development Center at Kean University, told NEW JERSEY BUSINESS magazine, “We have a segment of people who want to be business owners, but they are not sure what to do. They don’t have a passion, combined with being able to monetize it. We want to offer them alternatives to being a small business owner, and [franchising] is a great turnkey system that they can fit into their lifestyle, passion and budget. They can make a go of it and be successful.”
Of course, franchises are not limited to sandwich shops and convenience stores. In fact, thousands of franchising opportunities exist, and are suitable for not only different investment levels and time commitments, but also various “personality types.” All of this was explored by event speaker Boyton R. Weekes, who, in his role as a franchise specialist with FranNet, helps match prospective franchisees with franchises.
If a suitable franchise (one that meets all of the franchisees’ criteria) is located, investment capital will be necessary to “buy into” the franchise. Regarding this point, the SBDC event featured James Hughes, SBA 504 director at the Regional Business Assistance Corporation, who examined how much money may be required, and how franchisees can obtain loans.
Speaking in broad terms about franchising, Margulies told the audience, “[There are many questions] that you can ask the owners: ‘What types of support do you have?’; ‘What types of groups do you have among yourselves?’; and ‘Can I spend a day at your franchise to see how it operates?’ You’d be surprised how open these franchisees are.”