Your Guide to the Franchise Application Process

September 15, 2022

Starting a franchise is a profitable venture, but it’s not as easy as signing on the dotted line. Opening a franchise is a multi-step process designed to ensure you are ready to become a business owner. Before you apply for a franchise, make sure you understand what to expect.

Congratulations! You decided to pursue entrepreneurship by opening a franchise. You’re in good company. Franchise businesses in the United States are slated to generate $826.6 billion in 2022 and employ 8.5 million people, the International Franchise Association reported.

While small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, the franchise industry traditionally offers a place for women and minorities to gain a foothold in business ownership. Approximately 31% of franchise owners are women, and in 2021 female owners earned nearly as much as their male counterparts.

Learning how to invest in a franchise is the first step to opening a business with brand recognition and the processes in place to put you on a path to profitability. Franchising can help you fulfill your dreams of successfully becoming your own boss with less risk and high profit potential.

10 Steps to Open a Franchise
If you are ready to begin your franchise journey, here are some steps you need to follow to get the franchise application process started.

  1. Outline Your Goals. One of the perks and downsides of the franchise industry is the sheer number of possibilities. Understanding your goals can help you weed out businesses that don’t fit your vision. Ask yourself the tough questions. For example, knowing whether you want to manage a team of employees or if you want to work from a home office will make all the difference as you get started.
  2. Do Your Research. Once you figure out the type of business model you want to pursue, it’s time to conduct due diligence. Every franchise has a franchise disclosure document that provides you with valuable information about the company and your potential earnings. Make sure to pay close attention to the market and current economic trends. Pay special attention to developments in technology that might impact your business. As more people purchase electric cars to combat high gas prices, opening an oil change franchise might not be the best choice.
  3. Speak to Fellow Franchisees. As a franchise owner, you join a group of like-minded business owners with a wealth of experience. Make sure to speak to multiple franchise owners of any of the brands you are considering. It’s important to know the hurdles they've had to tackle, and to take their temperature on corporate.
  4. Attend Discovery Days. Once you’ve narrowed it down and have a top pick, attend discovery days. Discovery days typically take place at corporate headquarters, where you meet staff and find out more about the company. You also get to see the business in action by visiting one of their locations. Discovery days are also an opportunity for companies to evaluate potential owners to determine if they’re a good fit. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, some companies opted to conduct virtual discovery days. While nothing can replace an in-person meeting, attending discovery days from home cuts costs.
  5. Pick Your Territory. Are you going to open your franchise where you currently live, or will you need to relocate? Part of picking a franchise involves making sure they have availability in your territory of choice. Franchisors can help you determine the right market for your new venture.
  6. Secure Financing. After you select the brand you want to pursue, the next step is to get your finances in order and decide how you will pay for your startup costs. Many franchisors can help provide guidance on securing financing. Whether you choose an SBA loan or use your retirement funds to open your business, securing financing for a proven brand is less hassle than starting a business from scratch.
  7. Seal the Deal. With your due diligence complete and financing secured, it’s time to sign a deal.
  8. Do the Paperwork. Every new business requires copious amounts of paperwork. Make sure to get all your ducks in a row by obtaining insurance and necessary permits to get started.
  9. Attend Training. While you may have experience in the industry you are pursuing, many franchise owners need ample training to open successfully. Most franchisors will offer training both at their corporate headquarters and in the field to make sure you’re ready to open your doors.
  10. Host a Grand Opening. After all the paperwork, training, and financing is complete, it’s time to open your doors and start offering your services to the community. Many franchise owners choose to schedule a grand opening to draw attention to their new business and get started with a splash.

How CCI Can Help

With 150+ mobile vans providing leather repair and restoration services to customers across the country, Creative Colors International has been helping small-business owners achieve their dreams for 31 years. CCI’s technicians repair and restore leather, plastic, vinyl, and fabric for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aviation, foodservice, healthcare, and residential. Their mobile workshop can fix rips, tears, burns, scratching, and fading to save up to 90% of replacement costs.

Investing in a CCI franchise requires an initial cost of $86,980 to $102,410, including a $49,500 franchise fee, as well as a startup fee of $34,500. On the high end, our franchise owners generate annual revenue of $179,139. To find out more about owning a CCI franchise, visit our franchise FAQs.

Learn More About CCI

If you’d like to take advantage of the booming franchise industry and become an entrepreneur, investing in a CCI franchise can deliver. Contact us to request franchise info and get started on becoming a business owner today.