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If you want to invest in a franchise, there are a lot of terms you need to know in order to choose the best one for you. No two franchise opportunities are the same, and the best way to find the right one is to do some research and learn about the terms that franchisors use. Here are some of the most important terms to look for as you research franchise opportunities.

Owner-Operator

Every franchise opportunity is different – a lawn care franchise won’t run the same way as a fast food franchise. There are three different types of franchise ownership that are utilized by franchise concepts. Those include the executive model, the owner-operator model, and the semi-absentee model.

Here at U.S. Lawns, we use an owner-operator model for our franchisees. This means that you are responsible for the day-to-day operations and hiring a team. You are the boss and the owner of your U.S. Lawns location and the front and center of everything. Being an owner-operator is very different than an absentee owner. With a U.S. Lawns franchise, you are part of the business. That doesn’t mean you will be riding a mower and servicing properties, but you will control who you hire, all of the operations, marketing, and more.  Absentee owners do not get to be their own boss – they invest in something, rely on someone else to run things, and hope for its success.

Initial Investment

This is an important term to understand because the initial investment is the amount you pay for your franchise. Every franchise has a different investment that comes with different things to help you get started with your business. One thing every franchise investment does have in common is a franchise fee. Although this fee varies from franchise to franchise, each brand needs to have one. The franchise fee often covers training, support, rights to use the brand name, the business model, and other resources that help you get started. Other items that make up the initial costs when you invest in a franchise include equipment, starting capital, tools, systems, and resources.

Franchise Disclosure Document

Once you find the right franchise for you, the next step is usually to read through the franchise disclosure document (FDD). The FDD is a 23-item legal document that every franchisor is required to have. It explains everything, in detail, about the franchise opportunity, and it even breaks down the initial investment so you know exactly where your money will go. The FDD is designed so that no one is left in the dark when it comes to an important decision like a new career.

The FDD also has an optional section that many franchisors choose to include, which is Item 19. This item breaks down how much a franchisee, on average, could make with a franchise. We are proud to include ours because of the transparency it provides between us and a prospective investor and because it shows exactly how much you could make with our lawn care franchise.

Territory

A territory is the specific area you operate within. We put a lot of research into our territories to make sure our franchisees are in the best position to market toward commercial businesses. We use CoStar, which is a leading commercial property data software, to research what properties are in a specific area. We run multiple demographic tests, and if the results are favorable for a lawn care franchise, it becomes a territory for a potential franchisee. We have found a number of territories all across the country that are still available to invest in!

If you are looking to invest in a franchise but need more information, check out this article on how to open a franchise.

There are a lot of franchise opportunities across the United States, and knowing how to invest in a franchise that fits the values you hold can feel like an endless search. There are a lot of factors that go into a good franchise investment, but there are also certain things to look for that make one stand out from all the others. Here are some of the qualities that good franchise investments possess and how you can find the right opportunity.

A Vision

Brands are only as strong as the dedication their franchisees have to their vision. A brand vision is like a promise: something every franchise can strive for year after year of service. Certain brands like U.S. Lawns make theirs simple but meaningful. U.S. Lawns strives for 100% customer retention and 100% franchisee satisfaction. Having a clear vision like this lets potential franchisees know that the brand cares about their franchisees and wants to see them succeed. Other lawn care companies sometimes fall short to U.S. Lawns because of their brand vision and the national strength that the brand holds.

Training and Support

A quality franchise investment will cover services such as training and support to help franchisees get started with their franchise. The training covers all aspects of running their future franchise to make sure potential franchisees have the skills and knowledge they need to get started with their new career in a franchise they’re passionate about. Brands that are dedicated to the educational process during the training can potentially expect better results later as the franchisees begin their journey with a franchise.

In addition to the dedication throughout the training process, offering ongoing support is also a key quality that a good franchise investment will have. No matter how much training a franchisee has prior to opening his or her franchise, there are always going to be problems and questions that arise. A franchisor that offers support to help franchisees through any and all issues shows that they are a brand that is dedicated to the retention and loyalty of the franchisee and wants to help them stay on a course more prone to success.

U.S. Lawns offers a program that includes a week of classroom training in addition to hands-on field training and dedicated support team visits to the franchisee’s territory. We also provide more than 750 operational tools and training resources available to our franchisees through our online course catalog.

Opportunities for Conversion

For many, an investment may not mean starting a franchise from scratch but rather converting a small business into one. For example, lawn care companies may struggle with building large-scale business models, which is why many convert to franchises like U.S. Lawns. U.S. Lawns and other franchise opportunities offer different ways to show business owners how to invest in a franchise and convert their business, so they can take advantage of the growing franchise industry, which, according to the International Franchise Association, currently sits at $425.5 Billion. Franchising holds a lot of potential profit for franchisees, especially as the years progress and the numbers grow.

How to Invest in a Franchise That is a Good Fit for Me

If you have narrowed the search to a few options and are wondering how to invest in a franchise that you will be passionate about and have the drive to work hard in, it is important to consider the ideal qualities that franchisees in each industry possess. For a fast-food restaurant it may be a well-adapted palette and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment; for a bookkeeping franchise it may be advanced math skills and the ability to work a 9-5 job at a desk; and for lawn care companies it may be a desire to lead teams and improve their communities in ways that are clearly visible..

There are a lot of opportunities out there when it comes to franchises, but by determining what you are passionate about and finding the right brand, you could have a franchise investment that you are proud of.

For more information on how to invest in a franchise and finding the right franchise investment for you, download this free eBook with advice that U.S. Lawns gives their own franchisees.

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