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6 Questions a Franchisor Should Ask YOU

Posted by Jenny Sonderman , 2/16/2016 2:00 PM

​​How to Start a Franchise in One Year: 5 Steps to Take Now 

A year. Twelve whole months. Sounds like plenty of time to find a senior home care franchise opportunity and get started, right? If that’s your goal, the good news is that starting a franchise within a 12-month timeframe is doable. But that year will fly by. You have to be prepared to take the right steps at the right time, ask the right questions, and know how to avoid potential hiccups along the way that could cause delays. ​

To help you out, I’ve compiled my top five pieces of advice. As a franchise development manager for the Home Instead Senior Care® ne​twork, I’ve walked hundreds of prospective owners through the process of purchasing a franchise, from exploring the opportunity all the way through signing the papers. The following tips can help you get started off on the right foot. 

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  1. Start talking to potential franchise companies right away.
  2. While you can get a lot of information about a franchisor online, don’t put off calling. That first conversation is the only way to get a true sense of the company and whether you'd be a good fit for each other. 

    The company will ask about your interest in the senior care industry, your background and your goals. This is also a chance for you to inquire about the company's philosophy, operations and franchisee support. Speaking directly with the company can reveal so much and keep you from starting off in a wrong direction. Remember, you're choosing a business partner for years to come, so making the right choice is critical. 

  3. Find out what territories are available.
  4. Make sure the company you're interested in has an opportunity that makes sense for you. Is it in the town or city you currently live in or will it require a move, which usually requires more lead time? For those looking for a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in the U.S. or Canada, visit the ​Available Territories page to check out current opportunities. 

    Our first quarter of the new year is a busy time, so it's always a good idea to call or email us as well, because there may be territories available that haven't been published yet.

  5. Understand the total investment required.
  6. cost of starting up​ a senior home care franchise can vary widely, depending on the location, current economic conditions and whether you're opening a new territory or purchasing an existing business. Pay detailed attention to what is or is not included in fees when gathering information from various franchisors. 

    For example, the Home Instead Senior Care network's franchise fee includes new owner training, marketing materials and more. A reputable franchisor won't downplay the costs, but make sure you're aware of all fees, costs for space, insurance, working capital, etc., so you'll have a realistic understanding of the total dollar amount needed. Once you have a good idea of that total, you can begin the lending process, which requires lead time, so the sooner you can get started, the better.

  7. ​​ Explore the funding options.
  8. We find that most Home Instead Senior Care franchisees, even if they have seed money to start their new business, do prefer to use financing in order to keep working capital at hand. These loans are handled primarily through Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders directly to the franchisee. The Home Instead Senior Care network works closely with prospective franchisees to help them find and secure financing and, we are a SBA-preferred franchise network, which can expedite the lending process.

  9. Start inquiring about state licensure and regulations.
  10. Be sure to check with the state and county in which your franchise will be operating so you'll be aware of any required licenses, as well as the processes and any fees involved. Licensing is different in every state or province, and we always suggest potential franchisees look into this early on so there won't be any surprises that might affect the timing.

    Sound decisions come from good information.

    While a year may seem far down the road, asking questions and informing yourself early on will ensure you have realistic timeline expectations. It will also prevent any delays and keep your momentum as you move forward into franchise ownership. If you're considering a senior home care franchise with the Home Instead Senior Care network, it's never too soon to get the conversation started. And if you haven't completed our online Franchise Ownership Application ​yet, that's also a very important step, no matter what your ultimate timeline may be.​