What To Look for When Buying a Franchise Business

What To Look for When Buying a Franchise Business?

Franchising has become a popular way for entrepreneurs to enter the business world with a tried-and-tested model. It is said that the franchise industry worldwide totals to $3.71 trillion in revenue. These franchises contribute significantly to the global economy, providing employment opportunities and fostering economic growth. 

In Australia alone, the market size is expected to be around $170 billion. The industry has been thriving, offering a diverse range of opportunities in various sectors. If you’re an Australian looking to invest in a franchise business, it’s essential to make informed decisions to ensure your success. In this article, we’ll delve into the key factors you should consider when purchasing a franchise business.

What is a Franchise?

Before we dive into the details, let’s briefly explain what a franchise is. A franchise is a business arrangement where an established company (franchisor) licences its brand, products, and operational model to an individual or entity (franchisee) in exchange for ongoing fees and royalties. This allows the franchisee to operate under the established brand and benefit from the franchisor’s support and expertise.

Buying a Franchise vs. Starting from Scratch

When contemplating a business venture, one must decide between buying a franchise or starting an independent business from scratch. Each option has its pros and cons, but let’s focus on the advantages of buying a franchise:

Pros of a Franchise over a New Business

  • Proven Business Model – Franchises come with a proven and successful business model, minimizing the risk associated with a startup.
  • Brand Recognition – Established franchises often enjoy widespread brand recognition, making it easier to attract customers from the outset.
  • Training and Support – Franchisors provide comprehensive training and ongoing support to ensure franchisees can run the business efficiently.
  • Access to Resources – Franchisees benefit from access to bulk purchasing power and marketing materials, resulting in potential cost savings.
  • Lower Failure Rate – Franchises tend to have a lower failure rate compared to new independent businesses, thanks to the support and guidance from the franchisor.

Buying a Franchise vs. Starting from Scratch: A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs


To illustrate the benefits of franchising, take a look at the sample scenario below:

Alex and Emma are two aspiring entrepreneurs with different visions for their businesses. Alex is a pragmatic and calculated individual who sees the potential in buying a franchise, particularly a popular mowing chain. She searches for franchises for sale in her area and finds one she likes. The franchise offers a compelling set of advantages that align perfectly with Alex’s goals.

First and foremost, the franchise comes with a proven and successful business model, which minimizes the risks typically associated with starting a business from scratch. Established brand recognition brings a stream of loyal customers from day one, allowing Alex to hit the ground running and focus on growth.

The franchisor provides comprehensive training and ongoing support, ensuring that Alex is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to run the business efficiently. Access to bulk purchasing power and marketing materials also translates into cost savings, boosting profitability.

Most importantly, the franchise’s lower failure rate gives Alex confidence in the venture’s potential success. The guidance and support from the franchisor, combined with the existing customer base, create a stable foundation for long-term growth.

While Emma is passionate about her dream of opening her own lawn mowing company from scratch, Alex’s choice of a franchise provides a safer and more straightforward route. Alex’s calculated decision-making and alignment with the franchise’s advantages put Alex in a position of strength, ready to thrive in the competitive business world.

The decision between buying a franchise and starting from scratch ultimately depends on individual preferences and risk tolerance. For Alex, the franchise option offers a solid opportunity to build a successful business backed by a reputable brand, support system, and proven track record. With a clear path ahead, Alex embraces the exciting journey of becoming a franchisee and bringing the franchise’s offerings to the local community.

Things to Consider When Buying a Franchise

  • Franchisor’s Reputation and History – Conduct thorough research on the franchisor’s background, reputation, and track record. Speak to existing franchisees and gauge their satisfaction levels.
  • Financial Stability – Ensure the franchisor is financially stable and transparent with financial disclosures. A financially sound franchisor is better equipped to support its franchisees.
  • Market Potential and Competition – Analyze the market potential for the franchise in your desired location. Also, consider the level of competition and how the franchise differentiates itself.
  • Growth Prospects – Look into the franchise’s growth plans and assess if it aligns with your long-term goals. A franchise with ambitious expansion plans could offer greater opportunities.
  • Franchise Agreement Review – Carefully review the franchise agreement with the help of a legal professional. Pay attention to fees, royalties, territorial rights, and the terms of the agreement.

Things to Avoid When Buying a Franchise

  • Lack of Due Diligence – Failing to conduct thorough research about the franchise and its market can lead to poor investment decisions.
  • Overlooking Hidden Costs – Apart from the initial franchise fee, consider other ongoing costs, such as royalties, advertising fees, and required purchases from designated suppliers.
  • Unclear Support Structure – Ensure the franchisor provides comprehensive training, ongoing support, and assistance in crucial areas like marketing and operations.
  • Unrealistic Expectations – Be realistic about the potential returns and challenges of the franchise business. Unrealistic expectations may lead to disappointment.

How To Create a Franchise Buying Checklist

To make your franchise purchasing process smoother, create a comprehensive checklist that includes the following elements:

  • Financial Readiness  – Assess your financial capability to buy and run the franchise, including initial investment and working capital.
  • Personal Skills and Interests – Evaluate your skills, experience, and interests to ensure they align with the franchise’s requirements.
  • Legal and Financial Advisors – Consult with legal and financial advisors to review the franchise agreement and financial documents.
  • Existing Franchisee Interviews – Interview existing franchisees to gain insights into their experiences and challenges with the franchisor.
  • Business Plan – Develop a solid business plan that outlines your strategy for the franchise’s success.

Most Common Questions People Ask About Buying a Franchise

  • What Does Buying a Franchise Involve?

When buying a franchise, you’re purchasing the right to operate a business under an established brand name, following a proven business model. It involves paying an initial franchise fee and adhering to ongoing royalties and fees. Franchisors offer training, guidance, and ongoing support to help you run the business successfully.

You’ll need to maintain the brand’s standards and follow their business strategies. Franchise ownership provides the advantage of an established brand and proven system, but it also comes with certain costs and restrictions.

  • Is Franchising a Good Business Idea?

Franchising can be a good business idea for individuals who prefer to operate within a proven system and benefit from an established brand name. It offers advantages like a recognizable brand, a successful business model, and ongoing support from the franchisor. 

However, it requires an initial investment, ongoing fees, and limited independence in decision-making. Whether it’s a good idea depends on personal suitability, financial capacity, and a thorough evaluation of the specific franchise opportunity.

  • What to Consider Before Purchasing a Franchise Business?

Before buying a franchise, consider your suitability for the industry, your financial capacity to afford the initial investment and ongoing fees, and the reputation of the franchisor and brand. Assess the level of support and training provided, the exclusivity of your territory, and the competition in the area.

 Carefully review the franchise agreement and seek legal advice if needed. Evaluate the growth potential and long-term viability of the franchise. Gathering this information will help you make an informed decision and ensure a successful franchise venture.

  • What Questions to Ask When Buying a Franchise?

When considering buying a franchise, it’s essential to ask the franchisor a series of questions to gather critical information. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • How much is the initial franchise fee, and what does it cover?
  • What are the ongoing royalties and fees, and what do they include?
  • What training and support do you provide to franchisees?
  • How long does it typically take for franchisees to break even and become profitable?
  • Can you provide a list of current and past franchisees I can contact for references?
  • Is there an exclusive territory, and how will you handle potential competition?
  • What marketing and advertising support do you offer?
  • Are there any restrictions on sourcing products or services from specific suppliers?
  • What is the franchisor’s long-term growth strategy and vision for the franchise?
  • Can you provide detailed financial information about the franchise’s performance and profitability?
  • Are there any ongoing requirements for franchisees, such as minimum sales targets or remodels?
  • What is the process for renewing the franchise agreement?


Buying a franchise business can be a rewarding and lucrative venture if approached with diligence and proper research. By thoroughly evaluating the franchisor, market potential, and growth prospects, you increase your chances of making a sound investment decision. 

Additionally, having a well-structured checklist and seeking professional advice can further enhance your success as a franchisee. Take the time to understand the franchise model and its requirements to ensure a successful and fulfilling journey in the world of franchising.

Have more questions regarding buying a franchise? Reach out to us at 131-546, we’d be happy to answer any concerns you may have. Ready to embark on your franchise journey? Jim’s Group is the largest franchise chain in Australia, offering you 52 businesses to choose from. Click here to enquire about our numerous franchise opportunities for you!

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