So you want to open your own franchise. You have some knowledge about the business world, have spent some time working for a corporation, and you might have held management or executive positions within the company. You want to be your own boss, but you’re smart enough to know that to own a franchise, there’s an entire world of necessary information you might not be privy to yet, and you need to learn more.
We’re here to help! Here are a few secrets you’ll need to get started.
Pick a Franchise
The first step to starting a successful business is believing you can. So take a hard look in the mirror and ask if your skills and strengths can translate into this field. That said, if you have a mind for business, you’re on the right track with a franchise like American Family Care (AFC), a leading urgent care provider.
While AFC is in the medical field, medical experience isn’t necessary. AFC looks for franchisees that have business management and sales skills. Simultaneously, physicians with medical experience but not business experience may find AFC to be a great fit as well.
Other key things to consider while choosing: if there is demand for your service (which we’ll cover shortly) and what the competition landscape is like.
Spoiler: the urgent care business is booming, so there will be competition, but that’s not always detrimental. Can your business outperform its competitors under your leadership? You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t think it could. Having a 35-year old urgent care pioneer by your side throughout the entire franchising process can really help.
Read the Franchise Disclosure Agreement
Once you start the franchising process with a company, they typically are legally required to send you their FDD 14 days before you have to sign any paperwork. Take time to read it.
It tells you everything about the franchise, from what litigations the company has had to how much money they make and how long it took individual franchises to start seeing a profit.
It also generally tells you what types of resources you’ll have access to, which can vary from on-site assistance to intensive training to marketing funds. At AFC, those resources are extensive, and they’re laid out in detail in the FDD.
Stay Away From Fads
If you’re opening a franchise, you want to have your business be successful for a long time.
The urgent care business definitely isn’t a fad.
Per the American Academy of Urgent Care Business, between 1994 and 2004, the number of ER locations across the United States decreased by nine percent. During that same period, one million more people visited ERs each year. The reality is that a significant portion of those patients don’t belong in the ER, leading to oversaturated waiting rooms, long wait times, and high prices. That’s where urgent thrives.
Decide How Quickly You’ll Make Money
This determines your business strategy in both the short and long term and the type of franchise in which you’re looking to invest.
Franchise Gator has a good breakdown of some of those variable factors, like debt financing versus equity.
Of course, one of your deciding factors will be how much money you make. It goes without saying that your profit will always depend on the work you put into the business. Your location will factor into this amount so to get a better estimate, do your research, and review the FDD to get more of an idea how much you could potentially make by opening an urgent care business.
By the end of 2017, experts project the urgent care industry to be worth approximately $18 billion, and between 2016 and 2018 the industry is expected to grow nearly six percent each year.