If you’re thinking about investing in a franchise, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. While considering all the options available to you, make sure you understand the ins and outs of the franchise system and, more specifically, how each franchise on your list fits into that equation.
At American Family Care (AFC), we pride ourselves on being as transparent as possible with potential franchisees, so we’ve compiled a few answers to the more important questions individuals should ask before investing in urgent care.
1. How Much Do I Have to Invest in an Urgent Care Franchise Before I Can Open My Doors?
Many prospective franchise owners have the same trepidation about investing in urgent care: how much money will they initially have to invest before they’re up and running? While putting money into a business opportunity may seem daunting, the beauty of buying a franchise is that a successful business plan has already been established, so the chance of failure is lower. However, there is still risk involved, so you’ll want to be prepared for any unexpected costs that may arise. Be transparent about your concerns when discussing the investment with your potential franchisor, and make sure they provide a step-by-step plan that itemizes the costs of opening your franchise location. By doing your due diligence, you’ll minimize any surprise expenses and be ready to hit the ground running when it’s time to open your doors.
Each franchise opportunity will mean a different initial investment, but with American Family Care, the start-up costs include much of what you’ll need to launch your new urgent care services business in a thriving industry.
2. What’s in Your Item 19?
Once you decide that opening a franchise is right for you, the next step is selecting a brand. Whether it’s a service or product-based concept, people always take into consideration its appeal. No one wants to invest in an industry they aren’t interested in or don’t believe in. However, it’s also critical to make sure it has the potential for profit. One way to do this is by combing through the brand’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Every franchise brand is required to have an FDD, and the information within it contains everything about the brand, from its history and costs, to its obligations and restrictions. One part of the FDD’s Item 19 outlines how the franchisor has been doing financially. This is important because most franchisors will show what sales have been historically throughout their franchise system. Before making any decisions, be sure to ask about a brand’s Item 19, so you have a better understanding of the kind of success you may see with your investment.
3. What Is the Success Rate of Existing Franchises?
The benefit of investing in a franchise is that someone has already done the heavy lifting. That means every business decision has been thought through and every kink smoothed out, so all that’s left is a roadmap for success. One determining factor of a successful franchise brand is its franchisees. If existing franchisees are thriving, there’s a good chance you will as well. This information can sometimes be found in the FDD’s item 19, but franchisors should also be able to give you an overview of their current locations and which areas are meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Not only should you inquire about this kind of success rate, but you should also ask if you can speak to some current franchisees about their experiences. An important part of most brands’ discovery process combines a breakdown history of the franchise and an in-depth analysis of their Franchise Disclosure Document. However, a vital part of the process is also speaking to existing franchisees. This way, you can also learn about an owner’s experience with the franchisor and the corporate team.
At AFC, we have a home office team that has been revolutionizing urgent and primary medical health care franchising for over 35 years. They are leaders and experts in their field, and they continue to support our franchisees at every turn.
4. Is There a Franchise Advisory Council?
A major advantage of becoming a franchisee is being in business for yourself, but never by yourself. Many franchise brands even consider themselves ‘franchise families’ because of how close-knit they are. One of the most beneficial things a franchisor can do once their brand starts to grow is to establish a way for franchisees to communicate with each other. Franchisee feedback is crucial to creating a successful brand, and franchisees are usually more satisfied when they’re able to talk to one another. One way to facilitate this communication is for the franchisor to establish a Franchise Advisory Council (FAC).
A FAC consists of a group of franchisees who represent the franchise owners’ interests, separate from the franchisor’s. Good franchisors welcome input from their FAC in order to keep the franchisor-franchisee relationship strong. That’s why it’s important to inquire whether or not a brand has one. You’ll want to be able to voice your opinions and concerns and have them be heard. Overall, a FAC helps promote what’s working, identify what isn’t, and explore what changes may be worth implementing to remain competitive in the marketplace.
5. What Type of Training and Educational Services Are Provided?
When researching which brand best fits your interests and skills, franchisee training is a valuable asset that should be front and center of whatever a brand has to offer. While you may have some management experience relevant to whichever industry you plan to enter, what you will be lacking is the in-depth, first-hand knowledge of running the specific franchise you choose to invest in. Many franchisors take years to perfect their processes and procedures, so you’ll want to ensure that sufficient urgent care franchise training is provided that goes over every aspect of how to operate your franchise.
If you’re considering an investment opportunity in urgent care, AFC not only has a comprehensive preopening process that includes training, but we also believe that preparation doesn’t end after your clinic doors open. We offer continued education in the form of conferences, webinars, home office calls, written modules, and other resources, much of which is available online for easy and convenient access.
Contact us today to learn more about AFC’s nationally recognized franchise and why investing in urgent care is a smart choice.