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Ex-'Dragon' offers franchise advice

By: Elizabeth Smythe
16 August 2011

Choosing and running a franchise isn't easy, but James Caan has been offering some advice for those considering do so.

The former 'Dragon's Den' star and entrepreneur grew his first franchise, an executive recruitment business, into a successful global brand, so is ideally placed to advise on how to start your own business

Speaking to The Franchise Magazine, Caan asserts that first and foremost, prospective franchisors choose an industry that inspires passion: "the more enthusiasm people have about the products or services they are offering, the better chance they will have of succeeding."

Consider how the franchise may impact work/life balance and choose accordingly. recommends an internet franchise for those who have caring responsibilities or young families and need to be at home. The advantage of such a venture is that franchisees can "administer [their] own time."

Next, Caan insists that no further action takes place before due diligence does: "if you go into it blindly, you are taking unnecessary risks." Therefore, carry out some thorough research into the viability of your scheme, then obtain legal advice before agreeing terms and conditions.

In terms of raising finance, Caan advises developing a finely tuned, market-appropriate pitch for delivering to potential investors. "Be confident about your numbers and memorise any vital facts," he says.

As the business grows, he continues, be mindful that responsibilities and focus will change. Concentrate on "maintaining brand culture," which is a prerequisite of the franchise agreement, but also develop a reporting structure and ensure staff training takes place. Assigning mentors is a great way to do this.

It pertinent to remember that "it takes a good deal of hard work to success in running any business," however, with "hard work and dedication, you could well be running a successful [business]."

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