Right now, 7-Eleven is offering certain franchise business opportunities with an amazing promotion — they’re waiving the franchise fee. That can mean a savings of tens of thousands of dollars for qualified franchisees.
It’s not long since TCBY and Mrs. Fields were offering a BOGO: both franchises for the initial price of one.
Offers like these don’t come along very often, and their goal is invariably to move some deals fast. Should you go for it?
If you’ve already looked into the franchise that’s making a terrific offer and you know that it’s a good fit, a great deal like this is a good reason to take the plunge.
Otherwise, think about some important points:
- Often, deals like these are for specific stores in specific regions. If you get involved in the conversation with a salesperson, you might get caught up in the excitement of the deal and the sense of urgency that comes with a limited time offer. If you then find out that the available deals are in another state, you might find yourself riding that wave of excitement into ownership. If you haven’t looked at all your options, you could face disappointment.
- Special offers of businesses don’t come around every week or two like special offers on groceries and cosmetics. Chances are, there’s some history. If the special offer is intended to clean up stores that have had problems, to shore up a sinking subdivision of the company, or to give a last chance to a region, be aware of it. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad deal; you can be trading off more work for less money. You just need to go into it with your eyes open.
- Is this the franchise business you would have chosen? Plenty of people have bought something on sale that they wouldn’t have bought at full price. If it’s a remaindered book or last season’s shoes, it probably doesn’t matter if it turns out not to be your favorite. With your life’s work, it matters. If you wouldn’t consider the franchise a good fit without the promotion, the promotion probably won’t make it a great fit.
No matter where you are in your process of choosing the perfect franchise business for you, you should resist feeling rushed. Be efficient about it, but still take all the important research steps you should take before making the decision:
- Have an attorney go over the franchise agreement document. If possible, choose an attorney with franchise experience, and watch for dangerous clauses.
- Talk with current franchisees, and with some who have closed their franchises. Franchisors don’t have to give you up to date contact information for all their franchisees, and they don’t have to choose the ones they give you at random. It might take some extra effort, but it’s worth talking with some that the franchisor didn’t pick out for you.
- Research the company and find out how they’ve handled adversity in the past. This can give you the clearest indication of how they’ll handle it in the future.