Online Business Franchise – #6 Key Issues To Consider

Online Business Franchise – #6 Key Issues To Consider Before Investing

The advent of the internet has created a huge opportunity for the franchise model to be taken online. So what are the options, opportunities and potential pitfalls to be aware of.....?
By Neil Hendry

Introduction:

Before approaching companies that offer online business franchises, we strongly suggest that you do some background research first.

Which Franchise is the Official online partner of the British Franchise Association. Which are a well-known consumer protection organisation based in the UK. They write:

Franchising is a very complex area, but if you do your research properly and as a consequence manage to find the right franchise for you, it can be very rewarding. Before however you start to look at franchise opportunities of interest, you need to initially understand what franchising is and if it is the right route into business for you.

They have produced a very useful website guide which covers the basics of franchising and is recommended if you are starting out in your research:

All About Franchising – Which Franchise

online-business-franchise

Picture: Research at the beginning can prevent you from ‘hitting a wall’ later on….

Buying a Franchise: A Consumer Guide (FTC)

FTC – Buying A Franchise: Consumer Guide

Regardless of where you are currently based in the world, we strongly suggest that you download and read this PDF document.

Prepared by the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP), a department of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this document provides an overview of the key issues and questions that you should ask both yourself and the franchise owner.

Some of the questions and issues raised in the document will only apply to a franchised business operating in a specific geographical location. Online business franchises can sometimes be global in nature, depending on the nature of the product(s) and the business model of the company.

Of course, you should also check all relevant legal requirements for your country as well as any advisory publications produced by government departments and consumer protection organisations.

Extract:

When you buy a franchise, you often can sell goods and services that have instant name recognition, and get training and support that can help you succeed. But purchasing a franchise is like every other investment: there’s no guarantee of success.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has prepared this booklet to explain how to shop for a franchise opportunity, the obligations of a franchise owner, and questions to ask before you invest….

The FTC document then goes on to cover the key points under the following headings:

I. The Benefits and Responsibilities of Franchise Ownership

II. Advance Work: Before You Select a Franchise System

III. Selecting a Franchise

IV. Finding the Right Opportunity

V. Investigating Before You Invest

VI. Before You Sign the Franchise Agreement

Franchise background concept

Online Business Franchises: Special Considerations

Business franchises which operate online can deal with both physical and digital products, as well as services. With physical products the item has to be packaged and shipped by the company or collected by the customer. Always check who is responsible for product fulfilment and any hidden costs involved.

Digital products and services on the other hand, can usually be downloaded immediately from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This can be advantageous with regard to accessing a global marketplace as well as reducing the time/ effort and costs involved in product creation and distribution.

Online Marketing Training

Great training is essential, especially if you are new to marketing on the internet. It is one thing having a great opportunity, but another actually trying to maximise the efficient use of your time and resources. The success of most businesses depends on their ability to market effectively. Does the opportunity you are considering offer training in internet marketing? Or do you know the best places to find such training?

For those interested in some free training from a 7-figure online business owner, check out the navigation at the end of this post.

Working From Home?

Other considerations are the fact that you will often be working from a home-office. For many this is a dream, but for others they find it difficult to separate work from home-life. Have you considered this and do you think you are well-suited to this kind of routine?

Some Advantages

There are, however, many advantages to an online business. Lower overheads in particular as you usually don’t need special premises/ offices and staffing costs are also much less. Outsourcing is a possibility and many online businesses draw upon support staff in other countries. Logistics of staff training and reliability need to be considered but are certainly not insurmountable.

Resources:

We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you with your search.

1. Consumer Guide:

As discussed above, the document ‘Buying A Franchise – A Consumer Guide (FTC)’ is a useful starting point:

FTC – Buying A Franchise: Consumer Guide

2. Websites – Official Franchise Associations + Franchise Directories

Please note, that we cannot make any recommendations with regard to the internet business franchises offered by these following sites and stress the need for you to carry out your own due diligence:

– UK Websites:

British Franchise Association

The official franchise organisation for UK franchised companies.

British Franchise Association

Franchise Direct – UK

Officially the UK’s largest resource for franchises.

Franchise Direct – UK

Which Franchise – UK

Official online partner of the British Franchise Association (BFA).

Which Franchise – UK

– USA + Canada Websites:

Official Franchise Association, mainly covering the US and Canada.

International Franchise Association

International Franchise Association


Franchise Direct – US + Canada

Very large online directory for franchises in the US and Canada.

Franchise Direct – US + Canada

3. Franchise Magazines/ Publications:

– UK

The Franchise Magazine

– US

Franchising US Magazine

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Neil Hendry SFM Header Online Business

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