Evaluating B2B Franchises to Ensure Success
Anyone with skills in marketing, operations or management that wants to venture from the corporate world into business ownership should consider purchasing a B2B franchise. B2B transactions make up a much higher dollar volume of the business world than B2C transactions, providing plenty of opportunity to utilize the skills you’ve developed in the corporate world. Below is an outline of some of the things you should know when evaluating potential B2B franchises to ensure that your foray into the B2B world is a success.
Home-based vs. office-based
There are plenty of B2B franchise options available out there, including both home-based and office-based businesses. Determine which type of business suits you best before you begin your search for a B2B franchise. Home-based franchises offer lower overhead costs and higher flexibility but there are a lot of distractions that have to be managed, especially if you have young children… ideally you should be able to set up a single-purpose work space., Office-based franchises are more costly but better choices for those that plan on working closely with a number of additional employees. Executive office suites are often a viable hybrid to keep costs at a minimum – where you pay a flat monthly “identity fee” which gets you some reception/admin services; you can also rent offices and meeting rooms by the hour.
Choose a product or service that you believe in
Although extensive experience in the industry that you plan on franchising in is not necessary, believing in the value of the product or service you plan to sell is CRUCIAL . Your success as a B2B franchisee will hinge largely upon your ability to network with other business owners and build strong relationships with your target demographic. And YES, some outbound selling will be required so you’ll really want to understand what the overall business generation strategy is so that you can identify where you might have difficulties. You can then better ascertain how well the franchisor’s training and business systems will help you leverage your existing skills while developing new ones.
Determine the demand for your services
As long as there are businesses, there will be outsourcing of business services including but not limited to sales and marketing, training and coaching, accounting, event planning, interior/exterior signage, design, cleaning, etc. . However, depending on your geographical area and target market, particular B2B franchises will be more successful than others. For example, if you’re purchasing a B2B franchise that provides document shredding services, don’t open up your location in an area that has a low volume of corporate businesses. Identify your proposed location and the necessity for your specific type of B2B business in that area – for example, what is the count for the number of businesses within 45 minutes of your location? How many of those have the sales volume and/or number of employees that your target business is designed to serve? Don’t just do your research on the franchisor, do some on the size of the market opportunity as well!
Know your clients’ hours of operation
One of the great things about a B2B business is that the vast majority have traditional Monday – Friday workweek hours, because the hours of your B2B franchise will likely be the same as those of the clients you are servicing… However, there are a select few that will have odd hours (i.e. commercial cleaning which can only be done off-hours), so if you plan on servicing these clients make sure you are prepared to adjust your working hours accordingly.
Consider your network of contacts before making your decision
As mentioned above, your ability to succeed in B2B franchises is strongly tied to your ability to network and build relationships with other business owners. If you have any existing connections within specific business sectors that you’re passionate about, look to your existing network; strategically and practically assess who and when you can leverage those relationships.
B2B businesses are often more scalable than retain businesses – if you want to grow, you can add more sales staff, and possibly more equipment (or hire a second shift for the equipment you do have)… in most cases without the necessity of adding an additional location.
Take note of the franchisor’s level of support
No matter how well the initial training may be for B2B franchise owners, the fact remains that markets and business environments can change and evolve unexpectedly. Take note of potential B2B franchises that offer regular help with sales efforts, staff training customer support, etc., as the more support that is offered, the more likely you’ll be able to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.
The variety of B2B services and their utilization of various corporate business skills makes it no wonder that this franchise model has been growing at a faster rate than the several other sectors. This is a high-demand sector of franchising that offers lower start-up and ongoing operational costs; because of this, there is more profitability per revenue dollar than many other business formats. These businesses typically offer greater flexibility in terms of how you run your business. If you’re looking for an effective way to utilize your corporate business skills and are comfortable building/maintaining long-term relationships, investing in a B2B franchise is a perfect fit.
Gary Prenevost is one of Canada’s leading franchise experts and has been an entrepreneur for more than a quarter century. He has been involved in a variety of successful non-franchised and franchised self-employed businesses. By exploring the ideal solutions that fit an individual’s desires and strengths, Gary helps senior and mid-level executives take a step back and objectively look at whether franchise ownership would be a viable and positive career choice. By playing to the individual’s transferable skills and passions, the franchise owner can enjoy less stress, greater success, more fun, and improved quality of life. For more information visit www.CanadaFranchiseExpert.ca or call 905-405-6300. In addition to being one of Canada’s top franchise matchmaking experts, also co-owns a master franchise and unit franchise for Alair homes, a custom home building and renovation company, so he is intimately familiar with the home improvement marketplace.