The Dos & Don’ts of Joining a Home Improvement Franchise
Business ownership is a common dream that many people share across the United States, but it’s made significantly more accessible for thousands of hopeful entrepreneurs each year through franchising. While franchisors set up training and support systems to prepare you for the eventual bumps in the road, there are still quite a few challenges that, if you haven’t given them any thought, could do much worse than throw a wrench into the mix. As you prepare to look into franchise investment opportunities, consider the following dos and don’ts of joining a home services franchise to help you ensure you’re successful both after launch and after years of growth.
What to Do
Select the Franchise That’s Right for You
The home improvement industry has grown so much in recent years, and we’ve seen dozens – if not hundreds – of new franchise concepts join the market as a result. However, this doesn’t mean that every home services franchise is built for everyone or that anyone can be successful in any franchise they stumble upon. When you decide to leave the corporate grind to start your own business, you need to take a close look at every franchise brand that piques your interest to ensure it fits you and yourself and that you fit their ideal Owner profile, too.
At Footprints Floors, we’re looking for Franchisees with business acumen and sales or management experience with the ability to connect and communicate with people of all backgrounds. If this sounds like you, and you love the idea of working with homeowners to make their flooring visions come to life, we may be the franchise for you!
Research All Available Territories
One of the first tasks you’ll have to address when you start pursuing home improvement franchising opportunities will be to consider your territory. Typically, a franchise territory is a protected geographic area based on different factors, including household income, home values, the age of the homes in the area, and driving distances. With Footprints Floors, you’ll receive a protected territory with a population of 60K – 120K, but each individual franchise offers territories of all different sizes.
Many new Franchise Owners will, understandably, want the territory that encompasses their home community, but it may not always be available, especially with more established, popular franchises. That’s why we recommend always looking at other nearby territories or “hot markets;” this way, you’ll have multiple locales to choose from, each of which you’ve already considered before the time comes to finalize your decision.
Have Your Growth in Mind
By investing in a home improvement franchise, you’re breaking into an industry that’s seen positive growth for years and is expected to continue this upward trend for years to come. Because of the home services market popularity, your own growth as a business owner may be a given. With this in mind, many franchises will require their candidates to provide a business plan detailing how they expect to grow over their first 3, 5, or 10 years of operation. If you don’t have a clear direction in mind, your sales are more likely to stay stagnant after launch if you’re approved as a Franchise Owner in the first place.
Make Marketing a Priority
No business can succeed without a solid marketing plan – even global giants like Apple and Google marketed themselves in the beginning and still do today. With a well-rounded marketing strategy, your business can get through seasonal slumps or connect you with major clients who never would’ve found you through word-of-mouth.
When you join the Footprints Floors franchise, you’ll have a support team at your side to help you with your marketing! While you’ll still be involved in the various processes that make up your marketing efforts, our team will give you everything you need to hit the ground running from day one. This includes guidance on everything from your website and search engine optimization (SEO), to your customer relationship and brand reputation management, social media marketing strategies, direct mail campaigns, diversifying your lead generation, and more. We’ll even help you with the finer details, like your print marketing materials and vehicle wraps!
For more details on how the Footprints Floors’ team helps our Franchise Owners with their marketing, check out our January blog for a full breakdown.
Be a Capable Leader for Your Team
While you can typically launch your home services franchise on your own, you’ll often grow and recognize that you can’t do it alone. Whether your first few hires are to fill sales positions or to operate as a back-end administrative manager, your role will expand as a result, making you the leader of your team.
However, this doesn’t end with your direct employees. At Footprints Floors, our home services Franchise Owners leverage subcontractors for all labor work, and while they may not be direct W2 team members, the right Franchisee will still recognize the leadership role they hold in these relationships. Not only will you need to build these connections and treat them as valuable contributors to your business and success, but you will also be expected to provide guidance and act as a project lead during your interactions with contractors and their teams.
What Not to Do
Don’t Plan to Sit at a Desk All Day
A “home-based” home improvement business may not require a brick-and-mortar showroom or a physical office, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be sitting in your home office all day every day, especially with a home improvement franchise like Footprints Floors. While some of your time each day will be dedicated to sitting down at a computer to do administrative work or manage your bookkeeping and financial tasks, most of your time will be spent connecting with people face to face.
You could be providing an estimate to a client in their home one day, connecting with your subcontractors, and chatting with them while at a work site another day. If you’re motivated enough, you could even be growing your network by attending in-person meet-ups or events. So, while you may not need to commute to an office every day, you can expect to still have engaging days away from your desk with the right franchise.
Don’t Forget About Financing
Starting a business can be an expensive endeavor, and many of the expenses you’ll deal with every day are things you typically never consider as a W2 employee, with the initial upfront financial investment being the first expense you can expect. Whether you have this money readily available or not, there are a variety of financing avenues available to you that can take away some of the financial stress or burden, allowing you to focus more on getting to know your chosen franchise and learning the business model.
When you join Footprints Floors, your initial financial investment will start at just $78,505, which is significantly more affordable and approachable than you may see with other home services franchises. However, if you choose to fund your business – both in the beginning and as you’re operating – don’t forget the financing options available to help you get started.
Don’t Neglect Business Insurance
Once you’ve launched a home services business, you’ll find yourself – unsurprisingly – in other people’s homes for everything from estimates to contractor visits. Even though each property owner will have their own form of insurance, you’ll also need to ensure you and your team are protected with your own business insurance. Depending on the circumstances or insurance company, this can cover things including property damage, financial loss and/or medical expenses due to an injury on a work site, lawsuits, and much more. Even if you rarely find yourself submitting claims, on the off chance you need it, you’ll be glad you had it.
Don’t Limit Your Scalability
When you join a home improvement franchise like Footprints Floors, you often have the option of launching with one or multiple territories to start. Regardless of how many communities you decide to service right off the bat, one of the biggest priorities you should have after learning the business model and establishing your presence is your growth. While this could be in the form of expanding into new territories, you could also choose to grow into new segments like corporate clients or expand your customer base within your existing territory by out-marketing your competitors. Whichever path you choose to take, as long as you focus on growing your business, you’ll find success with Footprints Floors.
Whether you choose to lean on a partner for support or you choose to create your own system of best practices, many of the initial challenges you may face when launching your home services franchise can be addressed by returning to these dos and don’ts. Whatever route you take to start your business, remember that you’ll have a support team cheering you on and providing you with the tools you need to overcome any challenge that comes your way!
Once you’re ready to pursue home improvement franchise ownership, start – and end – your search with Footprints Floors. As one of the top home-based flooring franchise investment opportunities on the market, you can start a business that helps you break into the profitable home services market with a business model that lets you focus on your customers without ever lifting a tool yourself. A better life can be just a few steps away, so learn more about how you can become the next home improvement Franchise Owner to join the Footprints Floors family today. Take our quick qualification quiz today.