Franchise Resale – what are the things you need to know about it? When buying an existing franchise, one of the downsides to becoming a franchisee is the waiting phase. If you have a retail location, you will wait for the site selection process to be completed.
Then, wait again for the lease signing and build-out phases. Next, you wait for customers to find you. If you have a service-based business, you have to go out and sell your services.
Finally, you will wait until the income from your store exceeds your expenditures – the point at which you start “making” money.
One way you may be able to jump-start your new venture is to buy an existing franchise unit. But before you sign on the dotted line, go through this checklist to evaluate an existing franchise operation.
Evaluate an Existing Franchise Operation
First, evaluate the franchisor before you evaluate the existing franchise business.
Once you are satisfied with the standards of the franchisor, talk to the owner of the unit you are considering and ask the following questions:
When you are satisfied with answers on how the business has been run, move on to questions about the physical location, such as:
Why You Need to Ask Those Questions Before Buying a Franchise Resale
Reason #1: To know more about the Franchisor
Just because you are looking at buying a franchise resale, don’t forget that you will ultimately be a franchisee of the franchisor. As mentioned in the checklist, your process should begin just as if you were buying a new franchise.
With steps such as evaluating the FDD, talking with many existing franchisees in the system, and learning about the training and support provided by the franchisor. It would probably be best to pass on this opportunity if:
Reason #2: The Seller’s Motivation
There are many factors why a successful business person may wish to sell a thriving business. Considerations can be illness, retirement, or simply the desire to do something else.
Your challenge as a potential buyer is to find out if the motivation the seller says he has matches what’s really happening. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a business that is on a downward slide. Either because of mismanagement or because the business doesn’t fit the neighborhood.
A business owner is not likely to tell you that he’s been losing money because he can’t keep employees or lacks customer service skills. That would be like a home seller saying that the house is great except the neighbors are noisy and the roof leaks.
But in any case, the disadvantage of buying a business with a bad reputation outweighs any perceived advantages. You will need to dig deep to find out the real reason the current franchisee wants out from under this business.
Reason #3: To examine the business performance
If you are buying an existing franchise business or franchise resale, the price you pay should be based on how well the business is performing. You would expect to pay well for a business earning money and should pay a lower price for a unit that is not.
Therefore, determining how the business is doing is very, very critical to your decision to buy and to the price you will offer to the seller. The seller should provide you with balance sheets, income statements, tax returns, and other financial statements.
You will want to check these figures with the franchisor. Why? To compare how these figures match up with other franchisees that have been in business for a similar amount of time.
You may also want an accountant experienced with this type of business. Of course, to look over the figures as you want the most accurate picture of the performance history possible.
Reason #4: So you can check on its employees
One of the advantages of buying an existing business is that you may inherit skilled, well-trained employees. Get a good understanding of the current employees. Delve into their relationship with the current owner as well as any contracts, salary disputes, or lawsuits that may be in effect.
Reason #5: To check the status of Real estate/lease/inventory
If the business has a lease, find out if the landlord will transfer the lease to you and how long the lease runs. If you are buying the current equipment and inventory, be sure to get a list of each item.
You would also want to check its condition and the purchase price. Whether the equipment was purchased or leased, and how each item was valued for the sale.
There’s no fixed price for buying an existing franchise. But, you will want as much information as possible to determine what price you are willing to pay.
Reason #6: To know other important things
There are other things that may impact not only the value of the business as it stands today. But also the ability of the business to be profitable down the road. One example is the road in front of the business.
It may be due to some lengthy construction projects, preventing customers from reaching your door easily. Customers can be like water and will run down the shortest path. If it takes an effort to get to your business, they may avoid you and go somewhere else.
As another example, let’s assume the franchise you are interested in buying is a trendy martini bar. This territory may have been drawn. Because it could have a high number of young couples who would have the time and income to patronize the establishment.
But what happens when the neighborhood changes and becomes full of families with young children? Neighborhoods change just as people change. And the demographics of an area, both now and projected into the future – can spell the success or failure of a business.
Remember that buying franchise resale is a negotiation process. And that you are under no obligation to accept the seller’s price. Your place of power is that you can always buy a new franchise.
You have the option to start from scratch, often for the same or less money. So don’t be tempted to accept the offer.
Unless you have done enough research to determine if the price is fair. And that the business stands a very good chance of success with you as the new, proud owner.
Bonus Read: “Are Franchises Bought, Sold Or Awarded?”