How to Start a Franchise in 15 Easy Steps

Starting a franchise is a lucrative opportunity that many business owners consider once they begin turning a high profit. A franchise holds the potential for a higher profit margin and name recognition. If you are interested in starting a franchise, here are 15 easy steps.

This is the time to be creative and to take risks. Still, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved so that you’re fully prepared. At Rodney R. Hatter & Associates, we support you through every legal stage of the franchising process. Here’s your guide to what that process entails. 

1. Do Your Research

The first step is to do your research. You want to know what type of store you want to run and how to run it. This is the best part about starting a business because it entails fantasizing, creating, and strategizing. This is where you take a piece of paper out and start brainstorming.

For example, Yummy Café has a net investment of $500,000. The worst thing you can do is start a franchise without having enough research about the budget. Seek legal counsel to discuss funding options available to you and potential expenses that you should prepare for.

2. Costs

Franchise start-up costs can vary and will generally require $50,000-$100,000 of investment. Starting up a franchise is by no means cheap. It can be very costly, especially if you don’t save for unexpected funds later down the line. For this reason, is essential to have a budget sheet that leaves ample room for unknowables. 

A businesswoman shows financial reports to her CEO

3. Operation menu

You can do this on your own or work with a professional who has a template. It’s vital to create a manual of what the franchise entails and how to operate it.

Related: 10 Benefits of Owning a Restaurant Franchise

4. Site selection

This is where you have to think about store location and what the area might be like in five or ten years. The type of planning can save you from an expensive mistake. 

During site selection, you must consider how your business would fare in the area that you’re considering. Consider the population of that area your target audience to determine if it’s a good fit. This will also help you decide on the size of your restaurant and what the building should look like.

Consider like traffic, visibility, parking, assessability, neighborhood, and lot size. All of these are significant contributing factors to whether a location will help your store or not.

5. Grant territories

Two business partners review sales leads on their computer

This is essential if you have an ordering system where the leads come through the computer or phone. It doesn’t matter what the size of the store is and it’s marketing system, a successful grant territory can help make your business grow.

5. Marketing

Marketing plays a significant role in the success of the franchise. This is where you make the necessary decisions to target your customer base and determine how to find them. The goal is to attract their attention, inform them, and entice them to come to your business.

6. Finding stores

It’s a good idea to hire a professional site finding the company to negotiate with the leasing agent and real estate agent to find your first store.

7. Law firm

It’s imperative to write the franchise and disclosure agreement. This would entail getting a franchise lawyer to finalize the contract and to help with some significant decisions. 

The primary factors that should be indicated on any statement and contract would be the length of the franchise, option to renew, whether the business is a territorial base, whether the territories be non-exclusive or exclusive, and much more.

Contact Rodney R. Hatter & Associates for more information!

8. Attract franchisee

It really depends on how involved you want to be in the business. It’s best to attract some franchisees so they can help manage the store. After all, franchisees tend to be very invested in the business, so they do a more thorough and profitable job than a regular manager. 

However, you can also manage everything on your own and obtain help along the way. At this stage, it’s best to decide on a process to approve franchisees and how will the buyers be interviewed and profiled.

Related: What’s the difference between a franchisor and franchisee?

9. Matched with Approved Franchisees

Sometimes the timing isn’t always right. That’s why it’s best to decide whether to keep the franchisees on hold and wait for the right time. You can take on a location to run the company until the perfect franchisee shows up.

10. Fit-out

Once you have the perfect franchisees in place, then you may need fit-out premises. This is where you consider whether you want to run the company or allow the franchisee to manage the store themselves. Either way, it’s vital to have control in place to meet the brand standards.

11. Training 

Franchisees need to be trained in the system. It’s vital to have an adequate training plan and determine whether an external trainer will manage the training system. The better the training system, the more confident the franchisee is at managing the store. Therefore, it’s vital to have an effective training for the business.

man and woman sitting down in front of table

12. Plan opening

A lot of operational procedures must be taken care of before the opening of the store. The business owner would have to consider equipment, staff, vehicles, stock, and local marketing. With everything in place, it’s time to open the store.

Related: Helping Entrepreneurs Buy a Franchise

13. New franchise

There are field staff and operation teams that can provide consultation and support to the new franchise owner. Even if it’s only one person holding the title of the franchisor, development manager, chief operations officer, or empty.


A franchise is an exciting business adventure. However, it requires a lot of research, budgeting, planning, strategizing, and networking. 

Keep in mind that location means a lot. You want to open a store at a place with a lot of traffic, people, excellent neighborhood, and entertainment. That is why some people who go into this journey blindly without doing the proper calculation and research might suffer at the end.

Some people prefer to manage everything on their own, while others would opt for franchisees to operate the entire store. Fortunately, the 15 steps listed above can help kickstart your franchise journey. 

With that in mind, we hope that you find our tips and tricks helpful to build your store into a successful franchise.

Find out more about how our attorneys at Rodney R. Hatter & Associates can be of service to you.

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