I am looking to open a baby product/maternity store. Is there any franchises out there and if so, how do I find them? (Baby Franchise Where?)
I’m interested in that your first thought was to buy a franchise? Being part of franchise system definitely has its pros but it’s also got a few cons so you need to make sure you fully understand what you’d be buying into.
On the positive side, you’re supposedly paying for a business model that’s been trialled, tested and proven, meaning that your chances of success should be vastly improved over a standalone start up. Everyone knows the statistics on small businesses not making it past the first five years so a good franchise system should definitely improve your odds there.
It also means that you’re more than likely paying a premium for that against setting up something for yourself so you have to research the system thoroughly and decide if the benefits equal the additional investment. Again, on the positive side, a successful franchise system should have secured great product ranges and you get automatic access to that which can save a huge amount of trial and error on your part working out the best products to stock.
Finding A Franchise
Google is wonderful thing... I simply typed in ‘baby franchise australia’ and one of the first listings was Bubs but there didn’t appear to be much else. They would be worth a call and I also suggest contacting the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) via their website to enquire if they know of any other franchise system in your preferred industry.
Yours really just needs to be journey of discovery at this stage and you need to assemble all the information you can on your options before you start any negotiations in earnest. Franchising, like any relationship, business or otherwise, is easy to get into but not so easy to get out of if it doesn’t end up being what you wanted it to be.
The Reality of Franchising
I may sound a little cynical here but I have had quite a bit to do with franchising over the years, on both sides of the fence, and the relationship isn’t always what both parties believe it will be going in. I’ve seen good and bad systems and the only way to work through it is to ask as many questions as possible and talk to as many existing franchisees as possible to get a ‘feel’ for the relationship they have with the franchisor... and talk to the franchisor themselves at length about their system and their plans for the future.
One quick reference point might be to consider how long it’s been operating in Australia because often, it’s a case of the longer the better because lot of the ‘teething’ problems should have been ironed out over time and the stronger the business model should be.
What I’m really trying to say is this... don’t go into franchising with rose coloured glasses and take the time to fully research any systems you’re interested in joining.
Going It Alone
If, after you’ve gone through this process of research and due diligence, you find that there’s nothing in the franchise world that appeals, or fits your own particular idea of where you want your business to go, you might like to consider building your own concept from the ground up. As I highlighted in a recent article on KBB’s website about ‘building a baby business’, I believe there’s lots of scope to build something really special in that industry and maybe even franchise it off yourself in years to come!
Tapping Into That Head Space
Having children is possibly one of the most important decisions a couple will make in their lives. I know personally that it triggers all sorts of emotions and behaviours that wouldn’t normally surface and I think that this is a great opportunity for a switched on operator to build a business that really taps into those emotions. By looking to find ways to encompass and embrace what’s going on in people’s lives at that time, you could open up a whole raft of products and services to make your store a ‘must visit’ destination.
Whatever way you choose to go I wish you the very best of luck in your business journey!
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