Frequently Asked Questions about FranNet of Atlanta

Exploring business ownership through franchising naturally raises lots of questions. We've provided a few of the common themes below and will be happy to address these in more detail as well as answer any of your specific inquiries. Contact Us and one of our associates will connect with you.

The franchise business model is a licensing system where the owner (licensor or franchisor) of a product or service licenses others to market his/her product or service (franchisees) within a defined territory, following the guidelines established by the licensor.

There is virtually no product or service that is not available to the consumer through a franchise business. This is why franchise opportunities are often the best option for aspiring entrepreneurs that are ready to take their first step into the world of business ownership.
There are many franchises for sale in today's markets, with more than 3,500 franchise concepts available in almost 100 industries. Not only are the franchise opportunities abundant, they also account for $891 billion dollars in revenue and were responsible for more than 8.8 million jobs in 2015. 

Franchising has enjoyed success in such industries as hotels, automotive repair, business services, cleaning services, restaurants, educational services, health and fitness, senior care, pet care and many others. If you can imagine an industry, there’s probably a franchise system to support it.

A franchise agreement is a legal and commercial relationship between the owner of a trademark, service mark, trade name or advertising symbol and an individual or group seeking the right to use that identification in a business. The franchise agreement governs the method for conducting business between the two parties. Industries that rely on franchised businesses to distribute their products and services touch every aspect of our lives, from automotive service and pest control to fast casual dining and tax preparation.

In its simplest form, a franchisor owns the right to a name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee. This is known as product/trade name franchising. The franchisor can provide a full range of services, including:

  • Site selection
  • Training
  • Product supply
  • Marketing plans
  • Advertising
  • Financing
FranNet recently completed a detailed survey of 1,260 North American franchises that FranNet helped open between 2006 and 2010. The survey showed that 91.2% of the franchises FranNet helped open were still in business after two years, and 85% remained open after five years. Keep in mind, the bulk of these businesses are located in the United States and started up just before or in the midst of the great recession of 2008 — and still, 85% were in business after five years.

FranNet represents a wide range of franchises as diverse as the individuals who want to pursue business ownership and there are many possibilities beyond retail stores and fast food. Potential franchise owners are sometimes surprised to learn that franchises are available in high-demand service industries such as management consulting, staffing, web design, tutoring, senior services and pet care. FranNet has thoroughly evaluated all aspects of the franchisors we represent and we’ve built long-standing relationships with many of the best franchisors available.

FranNet is a highly regarded network of local franchise experts founded in 1987 with more than 70 offices across North America. Over the years, we have developed a finely tuned, proven process for identifying the best available franchise opportunities for our clients. Our product is reducing risk and maximizing your opportunity for success in your own business.

FranNet of Atlanta is a local firm dedicated to helping you transition safely and affordably into your own business. We walk the talk because we are experienced franchisees of the FranNet organization as well as several other franchise brands. Since 1999, our Atlanta team has guided over 350 new entrepreneurs to acquire a franchise opportunity or existing business. Our consultants are particularly skilled in assisting you approach your due diligence process to maximize income and future exit value while also enjoying a good quality of life.

We’d love to learn more about your interest in exploring franchise opportunities, available existing businesses and business ownership in general. Please take a moment to explore each of our personal stories and contact any of us whom you prefer.

Many of our clients are business professionals or retired military officers who are often exploring their entrepreneurial options for the first time. We’ve been particularly successful with corporate executives, managers and retired military officers who are frustrated and concerned about their career path and family’s future. Many explore options to buy or start a business as a full time career, secondary investment income or bridge to full time entrepreneurship over time.

In recent years, we’ve helped a growing number of multi-generation clients that include a millennial adult child and baby boomer parent (read more).

FranNet is the only franchise brokerage organization to enjoy national partnerships with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Senior Core of Retired Executives (SCORE). FranNet is also the only franchise consulting organization with a company leader serving on the board of the International Franchising Association (IFA). Accolades and associations are great, but what really sets us apart is our focus on our clients.

We are your local, trusted, franchise experts. Think about it. Anyone can do an internet search for the best franchises, but how do you sort through the vast amount of information? At FranNet, we live and work where you live and work, so we are well aware of the most current franchise opportunities with strong growth potential and availability in your neighborhood. We meet with you face-to-face to uncover the opportunities that are right for you.

Being local, our relationship with our clients does not end “after the sale.” We attend your grand opening, remain available as ongoing trusted advisors, and look forward to helping you sell your business for a healthy profit when you are ready to retire or move on to your next chapter.

The process begins with a conversation. We take the time to first get to know you to understand your unique situation, needs and ideas. We utilize a proprietary online assessment called a Personal Franchise Assessment (PFA). Developed from thousands of research hours in the franchise field, this sophisticated profiling system helps us with the franchise selection process, drilling down to only present franchise businesses that most closely match your ideal business model and offer you the best opportunity for success.

Armed with this knowledge, one of our local Atlanta consultants will meet face-to-face with you to help narrow the available new or existing franchise opportunities to a list well suited to your signature talents, financial and lifestyle goals, geography and budget. We also discuss your various options to capitalize and finance your business and work closely with you throughout your due diligence, providing guidance and connections to other professionals you’ll need.

Most people don’t have the time to research every opportunity out there, and why would you want to? Our streamlined process empowers our clients to make well informed decisions of yes or no to their franchise candidate choices within 90 days.

We encourage you to do whatever you think makes the most sense for you. Our service allows you to learn about many different businesses all in one place.  Most people don’t know the extent of choices that exist in franchising, and they tend to make decisions without sufficient knowledge.  Your FranNet of Atlanta consultant helps you understand your choices and how to investigate them more thoroughly so that you choose your business wisely for the right reasons.

FranNet only represents franchises that meet our rigorous pre-screening process. We are often among the first to know about new franchise opportunities in your area and help you find businesses you would probably not find on your own.

Yes. If you are interested in obtaining temporary or permanent residency in the U.S. through the E-2 Treaty Investor visa or EB-5 Program, our specialized consultative process will guide you to the proven business concept and brand that fits you best.

The first step in obtaining an E-2 or EB-5 visa is determining the business that you will invest in. Beginning with a Personal Franchise Assessment (PFA), your FranNet of Atlanta consultant will suggest franchise concepts that not only align with your personal and professional preferences, but also meet the visa investment requirements.

Starting a business is a life changing event. It is essential to utilize available resources and experts with a strategic process and “get it right” the first time. By going it alone, you increase your risk of hitting many dead ends and wasting valuable time as well as making a selection based on speculation. We have the industry history and expertise to quickly recognize a winning opportunity from one that's unlikely.

FranNet is constantly in front of franchisors seeking to expand. Because we are the first call franchisors make when opening a market for development, we offer the most up-to-date emerging local opportunities. Flying solo may mean missing your chance to gain first access to the most lucrative territories.

Naturally you will have a long list of questions when exploring franchise opportunities and business ownership. We have the expertise to help you uncover the answers to questions like…

  • What franchises work best in my area?
  • When is the best time to buy a franchise?
  • How much time does it take to research franchises?
  • How do I find accurate earnings and ROI numbers?
  • Do I have to leave my full time job?
  • Can I leave my job and make it work?
  • Can I pay myself a salary?
  • What are the pros and cons of buying an existing franchise versus a new one?
  • How will I know when I’ve found the right opportunity?
  • How do I speak with other franchise owners to glean an honest review?

 

The local landscape for franchise opportunities is constantly changing. While our Atlanta team stays abreast of all that is happening, you should consider the following when determining your readiness:

  • You have the available time to conduct your due diligence.
  • Your spouse or significant other is on board.
  • You can invest at least $50K into your business.

 

Your FranNet Consultant will guide you through all the angles to consider when narrowing down your franchise options. We will examine these and various other critical factors to help you reduce risk and maximize your opportunities for success. Some of these factors include:

Demand

Franchises exist where there is demand. Understanding that demand is the key. Is the demand seasonal? For example, lawn and garden care or swimming pool maintenance are more profitable in the spring or summer. Is there likely to be a continuing demand for the products or services in the future? Is the demand likely to be temporary? Does the product or service generate repeat revenue for the business?

Competition

Just about every franchise out there will have a lot of competition. It’s important to understand the level of competition, nationally and in your community. FranNet of Atlanta consultants will help you research the level of competition in your community and across the country. We help you ask the right questions of the franchisor. How many competing companies sell the same or similar products or services? Are these competing companies well established, with wide name recognition in your community? How much do they charge? Do they offer the same goods and services at the same or lower price? What are the key differentiators?

Franchisor’s Experience

Franchises are like snowflakes; no two are exactly the same. Many franchisors operate well-established brands with years of experience both in selling goods or services and in managing a franchise system. Other emerging franchises may seem as though they are in their infancy, but are backed by long standing, well funded larger franchise organizations with the bench strength to soar. At some point, you will ask yourself, do I feel comfortable with the franchisor’s expertise?

Growth Potential

A growing franchise system increases the franchisor’s name recognition and may enable you to attract customers. Growth alone does not ensure successful franchisees; a company that grows too quickly may not be able to support its franchisees with all the promised support services. Make sure the franchisor has sufficient financial assets and staff to support the franchisees.

 

Our services are of no cost to our clients. We are affiliated with successful franchise brands seeking quality candidates in your area and we are compensated by the franchisors for making a strong match.

You will not pay more for a franchise that you found through FranNet. We understand what it takes to win in franchising, so no franchise opportunity will be presented to our clients that is not fully vetted based on a robust set of criteria. Many franchisors in our portfolio will tell you their most successful franchise owners are frequently those introduced to them by FranNet consultants because we take the time to pair the right individual with the right opportunity.

 

Some franchises are very expensive while others are much lower in cost. Real estate and equipment costs are often the most common drivers of cost. The good news is that the old adage “you get what you pay for,” does not apply to franchise businesses. There is no automatic correlation between the cost of the franchise and the financial success of the business. In fact, nearly 30% of high potential franchise opportunities can be fully capitalized for under $100K.

There are many ways to fund the purchase of a franchise business. At FranNet of Atlanta, we have built long-standing relationships with the most respected franchise and business funding specialists in the business. In general terms, the most common forms of funding are:

  • Personal savings
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • SBA loans
  • Seller financing – resales
  • 401K / IRA Rollover for Business Startups

 

Your FranNet of Atlanta consultant can to help you examine all of these issues. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires sellers of franchises and other business opportunity ventures to provide prospective investors with the information they need to make an informed investment decision. It also requires that all earnings claims be documented, that the information investors receive be complete and accurate, and that investors have adequate time to consider and evaluate the disclosures before making any final purchase commitment. All required information is given to prospective investors in the form of a franchise disclosure document (FDD), which must be furnished at least 14 days before any purchase may occur.

This document includes 20 important items of information, such as:

  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of existing franchisees.
  • A fully audited financial statement of the franchisor.
  • The cost required to start and maintain the business.
  • The seperate and common responsibilities of the franchisor and franchisees.
  • Litigation involving the company or its officers, if any.

At FranNet, we provide a wide range of free services that can help you answer the question, “why buy a franchise?” Whether you’re looking to be your own boss or supplement your current income, there are many well-known advantages that make franchising such an attractive option. When our consultants are asked the question, “why buy a franchise,” risk mitigation is one of the first answers we give. It’s one of the most significant reasons franchise businesses are so appealing to entrepreneurs.

While franchise businesses have a very high rate of success, starting a brand new business can be very risky – most studies show that approximately 90% fail within three years. The primary reason the failure rate is so high among new start-up businesses is because of the steep learning curve involved with starting a business that doesn’t have an existing blueprint. Franchise businesses have already been through the trial and error necessary to establish the most effective product and marketing mix, and may already have trusted names that resonate with the public.

Franchise businesses can be thoroughly researched before any significant investments are made, which isn’t always the case with a new business startup (non-franchise) or other form of business opportunity. No matter how much research you do, it can be very difficult to get a handle on all aspects of a new business idea that is not yet in existence.

Franchising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and required to provide a robust amount of factual data about the necessary financial investment, history/experience of the company officers and contact information for all the existing franchise owners whom you may contact directly with your questions. This information and much more is presented to you in the franchise's Franchise Disclosure Document. No other form of business opportunity is required to provide this level of pre-sale disclosure.

While the success rate of buying a franchise is attractive to so many prospective franchisees, the potential for growth is perhaps the primary long-term reason people make the initial investment. Nearly 1 in 5 franchisees own two or more franchise units. This allows franchisees who are comfortable operating their single unit to apply that expertise to open additional units that greatly increase their chances for more lucrative returns and wealth building.
Your FranNet consultant will help you start by assessing your signature talents, personality and experience relative to being successful in your own business. Desired traits are systematic, coachable and motivated to succeed. For franchisee and franchisor to work well together, a mutual understanding of each other’s values and objectives is of paramount importance. Clarify your specific goals and how you intend to accomplish them in 5, 10 and 15 years. Make sure your family is supportive of you venturing into your own business, because if you have a family and you have a business, you have a family business.
We often say in franchising, you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to purchase a franchise are attracted by factors such as:
  • Access to a respected brand/product
  • Tried and tested operating methods
  • Minimized risk
  • Shorter runway to profitability
  • Culture of teamwork
If franchisor support is one of your primary selection factors, bear in mind that some franchisors offer assistance in all aspects of the franchise operation, while other franchisors offer the franchisee more freedom. Your FranNet of Atlanta consultant will guide you to ask the right questions of the franchisor to determine the right fit for you.

Contact one of our consultants for the answers