How to Become a Franchise Owner: What Does It Take?

September 7, 2023

Investing in a franchise can be a lucrative way to pursue entrepreneurship. Find out how to become a franchise owner and what the process includes. Be prepared for franchise ownership with our guide.

Unlock Your Potential with Franchising

Have you dreamed of leaving the corporate world behind and owning a business? You’re not alone. In April, Americans filed 433,894 small business applications, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Are you putting your dreams on the back burner because you’re still searching for a unique selling proposition to introduce to the local community? If you have the drive, commitment, and resilience required to chart a new course, the franchise business model may provide the “big idea” you need to achieve your goals. You can open a business with a proven brand and proprietary system for an upfront investment and ongoing fees. It’s an ideal path for a person who wants to be in business for themselves with resources, training, and support.

Creative Colors International began offering leather and vinyl restoration services in the Chicago area in 1980. To facilitate expansion and help provide people with entrepreneurship opportunities, we started franchising in 1991 and now have 150+ mobile vans serving customers across the United States. Our service technicians fix rips, tears, burns, scuffs, and fading in leather and vinyl for residential and commercial customers. They have all of the tools they need in their mobile vans to get the job done right the first time.

Conducting Franchise Discovery

Becoming a franchise owner can be an exciting and rewarding venture. To determine if franchising will provide your path to entrepreneurship and learn how franchises work, let’s explore how to become a franchise owner.

Determine your goals: Before diving into franchise ownership, it's important to assess your financial and lifestyle goals. Consider your experience, passion, and long-term goals to identify the type of franchise that aligns with your strengths. If you enjoy managing a team, a retail franchise might be in your wheelhouse. A home-based business is likely a better choice if you want to be flexible and enjoy a work-life balance.

CCI is a mobile franchise. Our owners set their own schedules and provide services from a mobile van, and conduct back-office administration from a home office. CCI allows operators to get their feet wet in entrepreneurship as an owner-operator and grow at their own pace.

  • Research: Conduct thorough research to explore different franchise opportunities. Consider factors such as industry, market demand, competition, franchise fees, ongoing costs, and support provided by the franchisor. Look for franchises with a proven track record of success. CCI has over 43 years of experience providing leather and vinyl repair services to residential customers and local businesses. We give the franchisees in our system the tools and support they need to serve customers and build relationships.
  • Contact Franchise Opportunities: Once you've identified potential franchises, reach out to their franchising departments or visit their websites to gather more information. Request franchise disclosure documents (FDDs), which contain important details about the franchise system, including financial information, obligations, and requirements. To learn more about CCI, fill out our online form to request franchise information.
  • Evaluate the Franchise: Review the FDD and seek professional advice from an attorney or franchise consultant to help you understand the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to the franchise agreement, initial investment costs, ongoing fees, and territorial rights. Opening a CCI requires an initial investment of $86,980 to $102,100, including a one-time franchise fee of $49,500.
  • Financing: Opening any business requires taking a financial risk. But franchising provides estimated line items to help you make financial projections and develop an accurate business plan. It helps eliminate the guesswork and allows you to ramp up sales quickly. Finding a franchise brand with a high-value proposition will put you on a path to meeting your financial goals. In addition to initial fees and investment, a franchisor will have net worth and liquidity estimates a franchisee needs to meet.

Determine how you will finance your franchise investment. This may involve personal savings, loans from banks, or investors. Prepare a detailed business plan to present to potential lenders or investors to demonstrate the viability of your franchise venture. We partner with Guidant Financial Group to help our franchisees determine the best financing options. Guidant’s Audeo™ Plan allows clients to purchase a franchise using retirement funds without being subject to taxes or penalties.

  • Attend Discovery Day. Once you narrow down your choices, attend a discovery day virtually or at the franchise’s corporate headquarters. During CCI’s discovery day, you will get to meet our corporate team and see a franchise in action. Discovery Day is the time to get any remaining questions answered about the business.
  • Franchise Application: Complete the franchise application provided by the franchisor. This typically includes personal and financial information, business experience, and references. Some franchisors may conduct interviews or require you to visit their headquarters for further evaluation. Consult an attorney who specializes in franchising to review the franchise agreement before signing. Ensure that you fully understand the terms, obligations, and restrictions imposed by the franchisor.
  • Training: If your application is approved, you will undergo a training program provided by the franchisor. This may cover various aspects, such as operations, marketing, sales, and customer service. CCI provides three weeks of hands-on training at the company’s headquarters, as well as ongoing support and guidance to help you establish and grow your business.
  • Setup: If your franchise requires a physical location, the franchisor may assist you in selecting a suitable site. CCI partners with Enterprise Fleet Leasing to help franchise owners secure their mobile vans and obtain professional, cost-effective fleet management.
  • Grand Opening: Once your franchise is set up, plan a grand opening event to generate awareness and attract customers. As you build your customer base, implement the franchisor's systems and procedures to ensure consistent operations.

We Can Fix That!

To learn more about CCI and the benefits of choosing franchising to pursue entrepreneurship, request franchise info and connect with one of our franchise business consultants.