If you have taken the next step in your franchising journey and are ready to determine the financial side, navigating your funding options and determining the best plan is incredibly important. Not every potential franchisee will have the money on hand to make the investment (and meet additional franchise costs that come later), which is why financial support exists.
To help best be successful, we have outlined some of the most common mistakes when it comes to financing a franchise. It is important to note that there is not a one size fits all situation – some franchises have certain requirements that potential franchisees must adhere to. Contact the franchisor for guidance and to determine what’s available when it comes to financing before proceeding with outside financing options.
MISTAKE #1: NOT CONSIDERING ALL FINANCING POSSIBILITIES
There are many financing options out there– shop around a bit to see what best fits your situation. Some franchisors offer their own financing options, but that is not always the case. If this is not available, or there are some restrictions on what will be covered (i.e., only the start-up costs) a financial institution can be the next option to consider.
The common mistake in this situation is that some potential franchisees seek out one option for financing and do not look elsewhere. Think of it like buying a new car – you should test drive some models first before making a purchase.
Some possible financing options include:
- Bank loans
- Home equity loans
- Loans backed by the Government (i.e., an SBA loan)
- Loans from family/friends
- 401 (k) rollover, also called Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS), where you can dip into your retirement fund to receive funding
- In-house financing provided by the franchise itself
Be sure to research every option you have available to you to ensure you are making the most sensible choice for you.
MISTAKE #2: LOOKING FOR FUNDING TOO LATE
Securing financing options is certainly not something to leave until the last minute. Depending on the financing option you decide to go with, there can be wait times involved – some as short as a little over a week and others a couple of months! You do not want to discover the ideal financing option only to find out you need to wait longer than you are able to.
To avoid missing out on an ideal opportunity, start looking for funding right away. Having it sorted is only going to help you in the long run as you navigate through this process. Shopping around for the best option takes time, and rushing is only going to make you feel pressured, which may make you go with a support option that’s not right for you.
Another benefit to looking for funding early is that you can receive quotes from financial institutions, which will help you feel more confident in your final decision. Similarly, you can get pre-qualified in advance, which is also a great confidence booster and time saver.
MISTAKE #3: UNDERVALUING THE AMOUNT YOU NEED
To successfully run a franchise, there are many costs beyond the initial franchise fee that franchisees need to keep in mind. This is why the franchisor will typically outline the minimum amount of liquid capital required. However, it is important to note that this is the minimum amount that franchisors recommend, and while meeting this is required, aiming for a larger amount may be more realistic, as there are many variables involved when opening the doors to your franchise location.
Being on the safe side and ensuring you have enough working capital to cover any unanticipated costs is important, especially in the beginning stages of opening your franchise location when you may not make as great of a profit as you need in order to meet additional costs and fees. Again, a franchise will typically outline an estimated range of how much of an initial investment is involved when franchising with their type of business. Take this into consideration when not only choosing a franchise but seeking financial support as well.
Of course, finding financing for more than you think you will need can feel a bit worrisome to some potential franchisees, but not having enough to cover additional costs that come later can cause more headaches later on. It’s better to only need to look for financing once.
MISTAKE #4: NOT SPEAKING TO OTHER FRANCHISE OWNERS
Who better to ask about franchising than another franchise owner? Of course, the franchisor is always there to offer guidance and support, which is incredibly important when you are in the process of joining their franchise business, but also seeking out input from franchise owners who are in your shoes (or at least previously were) can also be a great help. Plus, they can give honest advice that you may not always get elsewhere.
Some potential franchise owners may mistakenly feel as though they are on their own when determining financing options, which is why they may not seek outside advice. However, when you are in this part of the franchising journey, it is important to research all factors and considerations from multiple perspectives, as this can help you gain better insight into selecting the financing option that is best for you.
FRANCHISING WITH DOGTOPIA
If you are considering franchising with Dogtopia and want to know more about our financing options, be sure to check out the What Is My Investment? page that outlines the financial commitments and minimum requirements. We are on the SBA Registry and have up to 90% financing available as well as over $100M in funding reserved from our preferred lenders.
If you meet our baselines qualifications, please fill out our online inquiry form to proceed.