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A Comprehensive Business Plan Checklist for Franchise Owners

Updated Feb 4, 2023

A comprehensive business plan is essential for franchise owners to ensure the success of their business. This blog article provides a checklist of the key elements that should be included in a business plan to ensure that all relevant factors are taken into consideration. With this checklist in hand, franchise owners will be able to create a well-thought-out plan that will help them reach their goals.

In this blog post, you will learn:

  1. How to meet franchise requirements and create an executive summary
  2. Strategies on how to set objectives and goals, develop a marketing strategy and research the competition
  3. How to outline a financial plan, define your target audience, establish a budget and create a brand identity
  4. What business structure best suits your needs and how to analyze your strengths and weaknesses
  5. How to design an operational blueprint and create legal documents
  6. The importance of developing a training program, assessing your team and creating an exit strategy
  7. How to monitor performance and adjust as needed

Understand Franchise Requirements

Franchising can be an incredible way to expand your business and increase your profits, but it's not without its risks. Before you take the plunge into franchising, it's important to understand the requirements you must meet in order to be successful. These typically include:

  • A strong business plan
  • A solid financial backing
  • A commitment to adhere to all laws and regulations
  • A well-defined brand identity
  • An effective marketing strategy
  • A thorough understanding of the competitive landscape

Create an Executive Summary

An [executive summary is]( a succinct overview of the key points of your franchise. This should include an explanation of the scope of your business, an overview of your financial projections, a description of your competitive advantage, and a summary of your objectives and goals. Your executive summary should also be tailored to the needs of potential franchisees, so make sure to include any pertinent information that could help you attract more franchisees.

Set Objectives and Goals

It's important to set realistic and achievable objectives and goals for your franchise. These should include financial targets, operational milestones, customer service benchmarks, and any other objectives that are important to the success of your business. Make sure to review your objectives and goals regularly to ensure they are still on track and that they are still relevant to your business.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Before you open your franchise, you need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. This should include how you plan to reach potential customers, how you will differentiate yourself from the competition, and how you will ensure that customers know about your business. You should also include a detailed budget for your marketing efforts and an analysis of the effectiveness of your current marketing channels.

Research the Competition

In order to be successful, you need to understand what your competitors are doing and how you can differentiate yourself from them. Research their pricing, their product offering, their marketing strategies, and their customer service policies. This will help you identify weaknesses in their business and provide you with ideas for how you can create a unique and competitive advantage.

Outline a Financial Plan

Creating a detailed financial plan is essential for the success of your franchise. This should include information on how you plan to finance the business, where the money will come from, and how you will manage the finances of the business. Your financial plan should also include projections for profits and losses, as well as a detailed budget.

Define Your Target Audience

Understanding who your target audience is and how to best reach them is essential for the success of your franchise. Defining your target audience will help you develop a marketing strategy that is tailored to their needs, as well as help you create products and services that will appeal to them.

Establish a Budget

Creating a budget is essential for any business, but especially for a franchise. This will help you plan and manage your finances, as well as help you identify areas where you can save money. A well-defined budget will also help you make sure you are making the most of your resources and help you stay on track to meet your financial targets.

Create a Brand Identity

Creating a strong brand identity is essential for the success of your franchise. This should include creating a logo, developing a tagline, and creating a unique and recognisable style for your business. Your brand identity should also be consistent across all platforms and be easy to remember for potential customers.

Determine Your Business Structure

Before you open your franchise, you need to decide on the most suitable business structure for your business. This should include the legal structure, the ownership structure, and any other relevant information. It's important to understand Below we answer common questions entrepreneurs have about these topics.

1. Understand Franchise Requirements

What qualifications and experience do franchisees need to meet?

The hiring manager wants to know that you're prepared for the challenges you will face as a franchisee. If you don't have the necessary skills or experience, you need to convince the hiring manager that you're ready to learn. Be honest about your shortcomings, but emphasize your eagerness to learn. The hiring manager wants to hire someone who is motivated and willing to develop new skills.

How much will the franchise fee, ongoing royalties, and other associated costs be?

When answering this question, I'd play it safe and be conservative. The last thing you want is to give a number that's too high, and then have someone drop out because it's too expensive. Provide them with as much information as you can, and then make sure to put that in writing.

2. Create an Executive Summary

What is the purpose of the project?

If you're pitching on behalf of a client, it's important to keep in mind that the publication likely has no obligation to run what you've written. You likely signed a contract with your client that stipulates what your rate is for how many words, so it's important to remember that even if you've turned in a stellar piece, the end product isn't guaranteed. That being said, if you take the time to build a rapport with a publication and present them with quality pitches, you're likely to get first dibs on the next article they need done.

What are the key objectives and expected outcomes of the project?

As a writer, I think it's important to make sure that the objectives and outcomes of my project are in line with the overall goals and strategy of the company. This can help ensure that the project is successful and contributes to the overall success of the company.

3. Set Objectives and Goals

What are the desired outcomes for this project?

The desired outcomes for a project can be many things, but the most important thing to remember is that the client likely has a budget in mind. It's important to keep that in mind as you look at different processes or services to provide for the desired outcome. Be sure to do your research and understand the costs of each service, otherwise you run the risk of overcharging or undercharging your client.

What are the key objectives that need to be achieved in order to reach those goals?

Writers need to think of their writing in terms of the end-user experience. If the reader can't find what they're looking for, they will quickly become frustrated and leave. Therefore, writers need to ensure that the content they create is easy and intuitive to navigate. This can be done through the use of clear navigation and headings, as well as the use of relevant keywords, which will help the reader find what they are looking for more quickly.

4. Develop a Marketing Strategy

What target audience do we want to focus our marketing efforts on?

When you are writing an article, you want to be specific. You want to write for a particular audience, not write for the masses. When you are deciding who your target audience is, the more specific you can be, the better. You want to be able to know who your ideal reader is so that you can market your content to them.

What promotional channels and tactics should we use to reach our target audience?

When asked this question, it's important to remember that you're not looking at it in a vacuum. You're looking at it through the lens of what the brand wants to accomplish, who they are and what their goals are.

Once you've put the brand into context, it's easier to see what promotional channels and tactics they want to use. Some brands may want to focus on social media, while others may want to focus on traditional media. The key is to understand what the brand's goals are and how they want to reach their target audience. Then you can determine the best promotional channels and tactics to help them achieve those goals.

5. Research the Competition

What are the most successful products offered by our competitors?

The most successful products offered by your competitors are those that are timely and in demand. This could mean a product that is better than your own, or a product that fills a market gap. It could also be a product that is better marketed, or a product that is cheaper and still meets all the needs of the customer.

What strategies do our competitors use to reach their target markets?

A writer should answer the question, "What strategies do our competitors use to reach their target markets?" by using passive voice. Using passive voice makes the sentence more streamlined and easier to read, especially for busy and tech-savvy readers. Passive voice allows the writer to focus on the main idea and what the question is asking without being too wordy. For example, a writer can say, "We should track our competitors' marketing strategies to see what works and what doesn't," instead of "It is important that we track our competitors' marketing strategies to see what works and what doesn't."

6. Outline a Financial Plan

What is your budget for this project?

Decide whether it's worth answering at all. Sometimes clients will ask what your budget is for a project, and if you don't want to share it with them, you don't have to. It's your call and your choice. However, be sure to do your homework first. There are many free resources and guides available on the internet that can help you get a rough estimate of how much your potential projects may cost.

How will you fund the project?

Most investors are looking for a solid return on their investment. They're not just looking to give away money. If you can't answer this question, then you need to figure out how you're going to pay yourself. Most of the time, this means the founder will have to fund the project with their savings. They'll need to cut out a lot of other expenses to pay themselves, and they may even have to take on additional part-time work while they're building their business. The good news is that you can build in the costs of your own labor into your pricing to cover the extra expenses.

7. Define Your Target Audience

What is the age range of your target audience?

The great thing about marketing to a specific age range is that it allows you to narrow your focus, creating more targeted content and messaging. In many cases, this means more creative and innovative ways of reaching your audience. When writing for a specific age group, it also helps to think about what makes that group unique, as well as what challenges and interests they may have. For example, older generations may have more traditional views, but may also have more financial resources. Meanwhile, younger generations may be more progressive and open-minded, but may also be more time-strapped due to school and work demands.

What are the key demographics of your target audience?

If you're trying to appeal to a specific demographic, you should know who your target audience is so you can create content that's going to appeal to them. Look at the demographics of who's already engaging with the content you're putting out and try to emulate that in your own content. If you're trying to get more young women to engage with your content, target that demographic with your content and see what sticks. It's a lot easier to create content that appeals to a specific demographic if you already know what that demographic is.

8. Establish a Budget

How much money do you have available to spend on your project?

There are so many factors that come into play when answering this question. What is the timeline for the project? How many people are involved? Are you looking for someone who has experience? All of these things can have an impact on the amount of money you will have available to spend on your project. The best advice I can give is to be honest about your timeline and the number of people involved. If you are looking for someone who has experience, that will likely cost more money. Talk through your timeline and your expectations with the person you are interviewing, and be honest about how much you are willing to spend.

What is the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each item or service?

You should always answer the question "What is the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each item or service?" by saying the bare minimum you are willing to spend. This may seem ungrateful and unprofessional, but you'll be surprised how much they can do with your budget. You can even push your budget down further by saying you are willing to share the cost if they offer you a reduced rate, or you can work out a barter of services.

9. Create a Brand Identity

What colors should be used in our logo and branding materials?

When it comes to logos, I would say that the colors you choose can convey a lot about what your brand is about. For example, red typically conveys passion and energy, while blue tends to be more calming and serene. So when choosing colors for your logo, it's important to keep this in mind. For example, if you're creating a logo for a financial services company, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to use red, which is often associated with risk. On the other hand, blue is often associated with stability, so this might be a better choice for this type of company. So when answering the question, What colors should be used in your logo and branding materials?, it's important to keep in mind the type of message you want to convey.

What type of font should we use for our logo and branding materials?

The first thing to consider when answering the question, What type of font should we use for our logo and branding materials? is what you're going for. Are you looking to use a font that's fun and playful, or are you looking to use a font that's more serious and professional? Once you've answered that question, it will be much easier to find the right font for your logo.

10. Determine Your Business Structure

Are you interested in forming a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation?

I think a writer should be wary of forming a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation, if they're not familiar with the details. Even if they are familiar with the details, they should still educate themselves as much as possible. Sole proprietorships are the easiest to form, but they come with the most risk. You're personally liable for any debts or lawsuits brought against your business. Partnerships and LLCs offer some protection from personal liability, but they'll still cause headaches if something goes wrong. Corporations offer the most protection from liability, but they're also the most difficult to create. If you're still interested in forming one of these business structures, it's important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in this area. It's also important to read as much as you can about the specific type of business structure you're interested in forming.

What type of legal entity do you want your business to be?

Answering the question, "What type of legal entity do you want your business to be?" is a complex one, and will require some thought. Based on your business, there are a variety of options that you could consider. For example, if you're planning to sell products or provide services, then a corporation may be your best option. On the other hand, if you're planning on running a small business that isn't likely to make a lot of money, then a limited liability company (LLC) may be a better choice. It's important to do your research and to make sure that your business is set up as the right legal entity for its particular needs.

11. Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses

What skills and abilities do you possess that would be beneficial for this role?

In today's world, it is hard to pick just one skill. The ability to adapt to new digital tools and technologies, multitask, and take initiative are all helpful. In addition, being creative and having a good eye for design can be key skills for a writer.

What areas do you feel that you need to improve on in order to be successful in this role?

If you're interviewing to be a writer in any capacity, you should be able to demonstrate that you're a strong and creative writer. If you can't think of any areas to improve upon, it may be a red flag to the interviewer. While it's good to be confident, it's also good to be humble. You should always be looking for ways to improve your writing skills.

12. Design Your Operational Blueprint

What steps do you need to take to ensure that the operational blueprint is securely implemented?

A writer should think about answering the question, "What steps do you need to take to ensure that the operational blueprint is securely implemented?" by creating a detailed plan. This plan should include all of the steps that will be taken to ensure that the operational blueprint is securely implemented. Additionally, the writer should include a timeline for when each step will be taken. By creating a detailed plan with a timeline, they will be able to better show their understanding of the process and their ability to successfully implement the blueprint.

What are the expected outcomes of the operational blueprint?

The expected outcomes of an operational blueprint should be clear to everyone involved in the project. This includes the writer, who should be able to explain the blueprint in clear and concise terms. The writer should also be able to answer any questions about the blueprint in a manner that is easy for others to understand.

13. Establish Risk Management Protocols

How will risk management protocols be monitored and enforced?

A writer needs to think about hiring a third-party risk management company to monitor and enforce risk management protocols. This will ensure that risk management protocols are being properly monitored and enforced.

What processes will be put in place to identify and respond to potential risks?

Every company has a different way of identifying risks and responding to them. But even if there's a process in place, it's still up to the writer to explain how it works. For example, is it a single person who identifies and responds to all risks, or are there teams of people who handle different aspects of the process? Are there specific guidelines or checklists that help them identify and respond to risks? Is there a formal reporting structure in place to make sure that all risks are reported and acted on promptly?

Answering these questions will help paint a picture of how the company's risk management process works in practice. It will also help potential investors or stakeholders see how the company's risk management practices compare to others in its industry.

14. Create Legal Documents

What type of legal documents should be created to protect your business?

The legal documents that protect your business are dependent on the type of business you operate. For example, corporations, LLCs, and partnerships all have different types of legal documents that need to be created. You should consult with a lawyer to determine which documents are best for your business.

Are there any legal templates available to help you create the necessary documents?

If you're a writer writing about this topic, make sure you include links to the templates you're talking about. Even if you're writing for a blog with a CMS, it's important to include a link to the template in the article itself so that your readers can easily access it. This will both ensure that your readers get the most out of the article and make your article more SEO-friendly.

15. Develop a Training Program

How will the training program be structured?

As a writer, you need to think about answering the question, How will the training program be structured? by describing the positive outcomes that the program's participants will achieve. While you can use sentences like "The training will be conducted by a certified instructor," you need to go a step further by providing evidence that this will be true. You can demonstrate this by saying "Our training will be conducted by a certified instructor who has been awarded the Distinguished Instructor designation by the American Occupational Therapy Association." By doing so, you're providing evidence and details that show how your training program will be structured and how it will impact the lives of its participants.

What type of materials will be utilized in the training program?

As a writer, you should consider that the materials needed for training are often dependent on the subject matter. In training for a sales role, for example, different types of materials might include a sales script, a sales contract, or a mock sales interaction. For training in a customer service role, the materials might include a script for a phone call or an example of a good customer service interaction. In addition, the number and type of materials used in training is often dependent on the length of the training program. For example, a two-day sales training program might require more materials than a one-day training program. As a writer, it's important to consider the subject matter of the training program as well as the length of the program when deciding what materials will be needed.

16. Assess Your Team

How have team members worked together to achieve our collective goals?

When answering the question "how have team members worked together to achieve our collective goals," it's important to highlight the positive aspects rather than dwell on the negative. While there may have been some bumps along the way, it's important to focus on the solutions that were implemented rather than the problems. For example, if there were disagreements among team members, highlight how those conflicts were resolved.

Are there any areas of improvement or challenges the team needs to address moving forward?

Writers should try to be as specific as possible when answering this question. For instance, you can address your team member's communication skills or time management. The goal is to provide the hiring manager with actionable information they can use to determine whether you're the best fit for the role.

17. Create an Exit Strategy

How will the business dissolve operations?

One of the most important things that a writer should think about when answering the question, How will the business dissolve operations? is the timing of the dissolution. There are a few options: the business dissolves immediately, after a specified period of time, or when certain conditions are met. The writer should consider which option is most advantageous for the business, as it will affect the manner in which assets are distributed and liabilities are handled.

How will assets be distributed to shareholders?

The answer to the question, how will assets be distributed to shareholders, can vary according to the company's structure. For example, sole proprietorships do not have shareholders, meaning that all assets will be owned by the person who owns the business. Corporations and LLCs have shareholders, so they must decide how to distribute assets to them before liquidation. The answer can be based on the agreement that shareholders signed when they invested in the company.

18. Monitor Performance and Adjust As Needed

How are we measuring performance, and how often?

As a writer, you should think about answering the question, "How are we measuring performance and how often?" by first determining what is being measured. This can be done by conducting a SWOT analysis of the company, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. From there, you can determine how often performance is being measured and how the results are being used to inform decisions.

What specific adjustments should be made to ensure desired performance is achieved?

A writer should think about answering the question, What specific adjustments should be made to ensure desired performance is achieved? by making sure they address any possible roadblocks and obstacles that could get in the way of progress. For example, if you're writing a business plan for a new company and you want to make sure that your sales projections are met, you need to take into account any potential external factors that could impact your sales – such as changes in the economy or competition from other companies. You should also make sure that you have a plan for dealing with these roadblocks – for example, you may need to adjust your sales projections if you can't reach your target number of customers.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understand Franchise Requirements
  2. Outline a Financial Plan
  3. Define Your Target Audience
  4. Create a Brand Identity
  5. Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses


Opening a franchise is a complex process, and requires a great deal of planning and preparation. By understanding the franchise requirements, creating an executive summary, setting objectives and goals, developing a marketing strategy, researching the competition, outlining a financial plan, defining your target audience, establishing a budget, creating a brand identity, determining your business structure, analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, designing an operational blueprint, establishing risk management protocols, creating legal documents, developing a training program, assessing your team, creating an exit strategy, monitoring performance, and adjusting as needed, you can ensure that your franchise is set up for success. With the right preparation and planning, you can confidently open your franchise and begin to reap the rewards of your hard work.


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