Franchise Players: Before You Buy a Franchise, Talk to Former Employees
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When Bruno Lima began looking into franchising, his friend who had worked at cleaning services franchise Anago only had good things to say. But for Lima, that wasn't enough—and it shouldn't be enough for you either. Speaking with both the owner of Anago and former employees no longer on the franchise's payroll, Lima was able to hear both sides of the story before signing a franchise agreement. Here's what he's learned as a cleaning systems franchisee.
Name: Bruno Lima
Franchise owned: Anago, in Salt Lake City, Utah
How long have you owned the franchise?
It has been a little less than a year, as the business opened on June 1, 2013.
It's a great way to start a business with a proven concept. I had constant access to the help of the company’s headquarters. They were there for every step I needed and provided support to back me up and guide me through the process.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was attending Brigham Young University in Utah studying Manufacturing Engineering.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I knew someone who had worked for one of their franchises who had nothing but good things to say about them. I decided to look into them and really liked the way they were set up and how their system was ran. Anago was very open from the start and they were willing to help me with any information I needed about their company and how to improve my franchise.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
$1,000 for an office down payment.
$1,500 for advertising expenses
$1,000 to travel to the company headquarters to see what the company is like
$5,000 for office set up and employee expenses
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I called a franchise owner from Anago Cleaning Systems and asked him about his experience with the brand. I also spoke to ex-employees from Anago and see what they had to say, that way I could get both sides of the story. Really exploring the experiences of past and present employees helped solidify my decision.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Trying to keep ourselves from growing faster than we can control was a challenge. I didn’t want to stretch ourselves too thin. Just like any business owner, I would like to grow and expand, but I would like to keep it within our means and still produce great service to our customers.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Do your homework. Study out the franchise that you're interested in, how long have they been in business? How well are the franchise owners doing? How long before I can get my return on investment? Then look at both sides of the story, the good and the bad. That’s how you get the complete story.
What’s next for you and your business?
We're running some television and radio ads this upcoming month, trying new marketing ideas to grow our business at an acceptable rate. Eventually through business growth, we look forward to adding more employment as the business expands.