Graduation Speech

Congratulations!

You have successfully completed the program at our Franchising University! Before you step out into the franchising world, our franchise expert, Robert Bond, personally congratulates you on taking the first steps toward buying a franchise!

Dear Prospective Franchisee,

At its best, purchasing a franchise allows you to avoid many of the pitfalls involved with starting a business from the ground up and improves the odds of success.

At its worst, if the evaluation and investment decision is sloppy, franchising can be a nightmare. If things don't work out, you cannot simply walk away. You are still responsible for the long-term lease on your retail space, the large bank loan that you took to finance the business, and/or the binding, long-term financial obligation to the franchisor. All aspects of your life will likely be affected, as financial burdens inevitably spread to your marriage and even to one's own self-esteem.

Your ultimate success as a franchisee will be determined by 2 factors:

  1. The homework you do at the front-end to ensure that you are selecting the optimal franchise for your particular needs, experience, and financial resources. A franchise that may appeal to me may not be appropriate for you. Whereas I might be prepared to work 70-hour weeks for the first year my new business is open, you might not. Whereas I might be willing to invest $500,000 in a specific franchise concept, you might feel that the project is too risky. These are just a few of the many considerations you will have to evaluate before deciding to invest in a specific franchise system.
  2. Your commitment to work hard and play by the rules once you have signed a binding, long-term franchise agreement. For most new franchisees in the food-service industry, this involves working 60+ hours per week until you can justify handing over some of the day-to-day responsibilities to a manager. It also requires being a team player - not acting as an entrepreneur who does his or her own thing without regard for the system as a whole. A franchise system is only as good as the franchisees make it. This means following the script.

Keep in mind that, in the final analysis, it is up to you - not the franchisor - as to how successful you will be.

Remember, this is not a game!

Don't take short-cuts. Listen carefully to what the franchisor and your advisors tell you. Don't think you are so clever or independent that you can't benefit from the advice of outside professionals. Don't assume that the franchisor's required guidelines regarding the amount of investment, experience, temperament, etc., somehow don't apply to you. Don't accept any promises or "understandings" from the franchisor that are not committed in writing to the franchise agreement. Invest the additional time to talk to and/or meet with as many franchisees in the system as you can. The additional front-end investment you make, both in time and money, will pay off handsomely if it saves you from making a poor investment decision. This is one of the few times in business when second chances are rare. Make the extra effort to do it right the first time.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Robert Bond

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