By Rosanna L. Llenado

Taking the plunge into a business is always tricky. It requires a combination of market knowledge, business skill, capital, and unwavering nerve.

Headlines that incessantly proclaim economic crisis at every corner of the globe are a cause for concern for any business venture. But as they say, an optimist will always see opportunity and challenge even in the most dismal situation.

Some of the biggest enterprises were started during economic downturns. So, now is just as opportune a time as any to start the business of your dreams.

Why franchise?

A franchise is one of the safest forms of business. When you buy into a franchise, you automatically buy into a brand name, trademark, and business set-up. There are fewer mistakes to be made, because a reputable franchisor will assist you from the get-go. Getting a franchise is a way of getting into a business of your own while having the support of a company (the franchisor’s) with an established foundation.

The success rate for franchises is also very high, compared to that of start-up businesses. In five years, 90% of franchises flourish, as opposed to only 10% of individual start-up companies that succeed. Being exposed to a franchise outlet is also a good learning experience for those who might want to start their very own company from scratch. This is because a franchisor is usually a company that has been around for many years.

How to pick the right franchise:

Know your market. This is the basic rule when getting into business. Is your business going to be based here in the Philippines? What do Filipinos spend on? What does a Filipino value? What does a Filipino need? Is there enough being done to address this particular need? If not, will your product be able to fill that need? Is your product or service a necessity?

Knowing the answers to these questions will pretty much ensure that you have a feasible product that will not go out of style. As we all know, there are basic needs that the consumer will spend on.

Education as a Franchise

A Filipino considers food, clothing, shelter and education as the basic necessities. Out of all these, it is in education that the Filipino breadwinner does not scrimp on. This is because the Filipino believes that a good education is the way out of poverty and into a better life. Parents consider quality education the best gift they can give to their children and will do their utmost to see their kids graduate from the best school. This is the reason why college education plans were in demand during the pre-need industry’s heyday. This is also the reason why tutorial centers have become a flourishing business. Entrepreneurs have started to tap the supplemental education niche, and since students and schools are pretty much everywhere, the opportunities are as numerous as the islands of our country!

There are plenty of tutorial centers in the country today but not all of them are meant for franchising. There are several factors that you have to look for before making an offer to a center. One of these factors is the tutorial center’s reputation. Like most products and services, a tutorial center’s reputation comes from years of experience and its dedication to quality. Another would be the tutorial center’s franchise package. A franchisor that is not only after its franchisee’s money would evaluate the ability and qualifications of a franchiser. This is to ensure that the franchisor’s standards will not be compromised. A dependable franchisor will also be a dependable partner in the franchisee’s critical start-up period and will provide the services and support the franchisor needs.

AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center has been the acknowledged leader in the tutorial service industry. With over 14 years of excellence to its name and numerous marketing and industry related awards, it has proven its staying power and development potential by expanding to five branches from its humble beginnings of only three employees. AHEAD’s franchise branches have also reported excellent revenues, considering that these franchises are barely entering their third year of operations.

AHEAD is currently looking for new partners who share the vision of Rosanna L. Llenado, its founder and president. “Our ideal partner is someone who is very much committed to the business of education,” says Marion Evangelista, AHEAD’s special projects manager. “He or she must be concerned not only with the financial remunerations but must also have a genuine interest in children and AHEAD’s role in developing them.”

To be a successful entrepreneur, one must be patient, competitive, self-reliant and self-confident. But above all else, one must have the passion for the business. Being a risk-taker, going against the grain, is the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit, but one must also be prudent and plan carefully. When choosing the right product or franchise, selecting one that is in demand is part of the equation. Picking out the right franchisor from the crowd is the other half.

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