It sounds a little strange, but one of the first things to consider when starting a business is how to exit that business. In fact, a franchisor will want to know your plans for leaving the business before you even sign on the dotted line, to ensure that your plans for the future are in line with theirs. It brings to mind the adage, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Decide When You Want To Exit the Business
No one wants to think about the end when starting a business, but this is precisely the time to put your plan in place. Most franchise agreements are for a term of 10 years. So, you need to ask yourself some important questions:
- What do I expect to accomplish from this business and what is my timeframe for doing so?
- How long do I want to operate the business?
- Do I want to build the business to sell? If so, at what point am I going to do that?
- Do I want to keep the business, but just step back and let someone else operate it for me?
- What about my family – are they interested in owning this business when I leave it?
- If I have partners, what will happen to them when I leave the business?
Developing the Exit Plan
Once you have answered these questions from your vantage point, you now need to check with the people who may be involved in your plan: family or partners. If their goals are in line with yours, put your plan to paper. Make sure that those involved, including the franchisor, know how you plan to exit the business…and when.
And remember, things change. Ten years is a long time. Revisit your plan periodically to make sure that your goals are still in line. If, during the course of your franchise ownership, these plans change, update you plan and let others know.
At FranNet, we help people from across the country find franchise business opportunities that meet their personal and lifestyle goals. If you are interested in learning more and live in the Tampa Bay area, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (813)281-5473. www.frannet.com/pdeering.
Written by Patricia Deering, Owner, FranNet of Greater Tampa Bay