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Don’t Turn Your Business Into A Franchise

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Please don’t automatically think that you have something to franchise.

Because you probably don’t.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

Seriously; just because you, “feel” that you can turn your independent business-or yet to be business, into a franchise business, it doesn’t mean that you can-or should.

People contact me all the time for franchise advice…that’s fine. It’s what I specialize in. And, I’ll gladly offer my solicited advice.


Real Advice

I don’t tend to sugar-coat things…

But, lately, I’ve been holding back a bit. I’m not sure why, either.

In the past 6 months, I’ve been contacted by several people who have already started franchising. (At least, their idea of franchising.) A few of their concepts have really stood out.

But, not because their franchise concepts are incredible.

The reason that their franchises have stood out, and still do, is because they suck.

Their businesses should have never become franchises in the first place.

And, if these folks would have contacted me before they spent a lot of money with franchise lawyers and/or franchise development firms, my advice to them would have been to not do it.

But, I couldn’t give them real advice. They didn’t allow me to.

They just went ahead and did it.


Don’t Turn Your Business Into A Franchise

A lot of people don’t care what you care about.

For example, just because you are passionate about low-energy lighting, it doesn’t mean that I am.

Or, maybe you’re a former inner-city school teacher who’s super-passionate about helping at-risk youth. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean that I am…or that a lot of your neighbors are.

Let’s go even narrower. I’ll use myself as an example….

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Let’s Turn My Business Idea Into A Franchise

I like dogs. I think that they’re the most amazing animals. I have several ideas on how to monetize my passion–my love for dogs. Except not all people love dogs. Some people are allergic to dogs. Some people are scared of dogs. Heck, some people just don’t like animals.

But, lots of people make a lot of money in the pet business.

And, I think that I can do. So, here’s my idea for a franchise.

Ruff Ruff

I want to open a chain of  police dog training franchises. Franchisees would only work with police departments. No individuals. No businesses. Only police departments.

Now, more and more police departments are using specially trained dogs, nowadays. These dogs can fetch (hahaha) upwards of $50,000 fully trained, ready to go.

k-9 police dog

I really want to get in on that action, so I go about hiring a franchise development firm, or maybe I’ll do it on the cheap, and only use a franchise attorney to “franchise” this business idea of mine.

For the heck of it, let’s say that I go the cheap route, and get my franchise idea up and running with the help of an able-bodied, well-meaning franchise attorney.

The attorney is well-versed in Franchise Disclosure Documents, franchise contracts, and franchise law. Terrific.

Let’s also say that I hired someone to write-up a franchise operations manual for me.

Everything’s cool, right?

Keep Scrolling…


Keep Scrolling…




Do you know why?

The reason that everything is not all “cool” with my yet to be launched “franchise” is this:

I’m not playing with a

old deck of cards.

 Full Deck.

(Image courtesy of  BaileyRaeWeaver, Flickr)

I’m missing several crucial things.

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But, I’m only going to talk about the most important one.


A Market

In my excitement, which included a lot of daydreaming about collecting royalties each and every month from at least 500 franchisees located all over the US and Canada, I forgot one thing.

I didn’t research the market enough.

I’ve got nothing.


Just Because

I think there’s a need for a franchise that provides K9 training-and the dogs for police departments in North America, it doesn’t mean there is.

  • Just because I’m passionate about dogs and specialized dog training, it doesn’t mean that there are enough other people that are.
  • Just because I know that more and more police departments are purchasing $50,000 German Shepherds, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to want to purchase them from me-or one of my franchisees.
  • Just because I think that there’s a need for this service, it doesn’t mean that there actually is one.
  • Just because I think that I can find plenty of  people that are passionate about specialized dog training, it doesn’t mean that I can.



You can believe that you have an amazing idea for a franchise concept.

And, you just might.

But, you need some proof. You need to do a market study. You need to work with experts to see if this idea of yours is really feasible.

And, when it comes to franchise development, which is the art of turning a business concept into a franchise business concept, you can easily find an expert or 20.

But, not all franchise development firms are created equal.

Some of them will happily take your money…all the while telling you that you have, ” a fantastic idea,” and they’ll even help you sell the first few franchises.

There are a lot of horror stories out there. I don’t want you to become the main character in one.

** Did I mention that turning your business concept-business idea-into a franchise using only the services of an attorney will dramatically increase your chance of falling flat on your face and possibly never selling more than one or two franchises?

In other words, don’t be cheap. Don’t just use an attorney to franchise your business. Find a good franchise development firm. Have them do a market study. See if there is in fact, a big enough market for your services or products.

Just because you have a great idea for a franchise….

Doesn’t make it so.
(Card deck image courtesy of  BaileyRaeWeaver, Flickr)

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I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes. For over 20 years, I’ve been helping people make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too! #thefranchiseking
The fantastic thing about Joel is his neutrality. Because he is not getting an incentive fee, he will always give you the advice that you need (even if not what you necessarily want) and that's pretty unique these days. Thank you Joel!"
- Nic Church, France
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