Is a greenfield or a brownfield opportunity right for you?

Making a strong investment decision means finding the right situation for your skills, personality and circumstances. Before you begin your investment journey it’s important to understand the unique role of being a franchisee, and make sure that you are comfortable with the responsibility of becoming part of a brand. With that in mind, our team is careful to work through our unique selection process to ensure that our franchisees are the right fit.

Understanding your investment options

When you’re considering your investment, you’ll make an important choice - investing in an established or ‘brownfield’ development, or a new ‘greenfield’ development. To make this decision it’s imperative that you know what your investment capacity is, the level of risk you can assume, and what your personal investment goals are. 

There are additional lifestyle factors you should consider. Taking on a Quest franchise means being very hands-on with your business, which may mean relocating. Whether you’ve chosen a brownfield or a greenfield, you need to have a passion for where your business is, and a desire to engage with the local community. We have seen situations where all the factors for a great investment are there, but the investor just don’t want to live in the location, so it can’t go forward.

Choosing a brownfield

Generally, investors with a lower level of risk or less experience are more attracted to brownfields. This is because an existing business is a known quantity, and the investment opportunity will general mean assuming less financial risk.

When you’re evaluating a brownfield opportunity, you can access the business history and build an effective model from the data. Examining financial records, the track record of the business, meeting the team and experiencing the business in action all help you to build an overall picture. You also have the opportunity to meet your local community and engage with an existing market to understand the business development opportunities. 

We don’t require investors to have specific experience in running a franchise, so a brownfield investment is a great way to build that knowledge, and those all-important leadership skills. We want all of our investors to work with our business in the long term, and a brownfield opportunity can be a great way to begin this progression.

Choosing a greenfield

As a general rule, we tend to recommend our existing franchisees for greenfield opportunities, because it’s a great way to offer more the opportunity for increased financial reward to people who have done a great job of running their existing, brownfield, businesses.

With a greenfield business, you’re starting from zero. This is a huge challenge, but it also represents a real opportunity. After all, you have the opportunity to build a new team, you’re not taking on any existing issues on board, you can build a new clientele, and you can set the standard in your new business.

Of course, starting from zero means you’re assuming more risk, which is often not attractive to less-experienced investors, or those with a lower financial capacity. A new business can take time to turn a profit, so you need to have the financial capability to cash flow this period. Rather than a gamble, this choice needs to be a calculated risk- and when it is, this is often a very exciting time!

While, unlike a brownfield, you don’t have data from an existing business, there is still important research to be done to inform your decision. You need to research the other development and infrastructure projects coming into the area to get a sense of the future state of the location you’re considering. 

Because you’re not working with an existing customer base, you need to take the time to really understand your market and the needs of your new customers. Buying into a greenfield property does mean that you have the support of the network and the expertise of our team behind you, but it does not mean that your market will be ready and waiting. Engagement is very crucial, and we find that business owners (franchisees) who are willing to get out and drive their market will see the most success in their investment.

Whether a brownfield or a greenfield turns out to be the right opportunity for you, it’s important that you take the time to fully understand the opportunity at hand, and all that it implies. Our team is here to provide support and expertise during this process, as we work towards the goal of a successful investment.