Business ownership is the American Dream. Franchising remains one of the safest ways of becoming a business owner due to the time-tested training and support available from top franchises in more than 80 industry categories–a number that continues to grow. Franchising is booming, with hundreds of thousands of people looking into franchise opportunities every day.
If you want to be your own boss, make sure you’re finding the best franchise for you, which may be different than what you think.
The following are 6 steps we work with you on for selecting a great franchise that fits their goals, skills, and financial direction.
Ask yourself what you really want to achieve by owning a business. Things like, what hours you want to work, what kinds of things are you good at and like to do, how much money can you afford to invest and what returns will you need to produce from the business? Also, give some thought to where you want to live and operate your business, as well as what your exit plans are in the future. Once you understand what’s important to you, you’ll be able to evaluate any franchise opportunity and know if it’s a good match.
You will need to have a clear idea of how much money will be available to you. Unless you’re sitting on a mountain of cash, start this process early on because the answers can be quite different from what they were just a few months ago. There are several ways to fund a business, signature credit lines, 401(k) rollover products, SBA lending, conventional lending, etc.
Step 3-Evaluate industry categories
Take a master list of franchise opportunities (the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 published each January is the most comprehensive) and review it. Don’t bother with individual companies at this time, just focus on industry groups or categories. Based on your impression of each of these segments, ask yourself if it appears to meet the desired criteria you identified in Step 1. If it doesn’t, cross it off. You’ll end up with a list of possible industry segments.
Step 4-Look for recession-resistant industry
Take your list of possible industries and ask yourself a simple question: “Do I believe this is a business that will continue to do well regardless of the state of the economy?” This will be true of businesses like damage restoration, fast food, cleaning, senior care or hair cutting, but it may not be true of others like optional expensive services businesses or upscale retail. Cross off industry segments if you believe that they’re not recession resistant so you give yourself the best possible chance for a successful decision.
Step 5-Start identifying individual franchise companies
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, look at individual companies and pick one that you think is representative of the category. Try to select companies that will have territories available in your desired area. From this list of companies, pick a few that seem most interesting or attractive to you based on your criteria identified in Step 1. It’s time to look at them in a little more detail.
Step 6-Request preliminary information about franchisors from your broker and start your due diligence.
After selecting a few companies that match with you, obtain the basic franchise information. This might be on a website or in brochures, videos or other materials they may send you. Review the preliminary information from each company to determine if, based on this further information, the company still appears to meet your criteria and is worth spending more time on. From this point forward, your time commitment on each active investigation is going to increase dramatically, so be selective.
Key things to keep in mind while you evaluate a franchise.
- Matches your financial resources
- Provides you with the lifestyle you imagined
- Uses your particular skills and experience
- Provides a recession-resistant product or service
- Has a majority of happy and successful franchisees
- Employs an experienced and enthusiastic staff of personnel who will help you achieve your dreams of business ownership success
We are here to help you find the franchise opportunity that is right for you in 2019.