Finding and Assessing Franchise Opportunities
November 5, 2015
Franchises exist just about everywhere, and offer many choices. With so many options, it can be hard to narrow your options to a short list of possibilities. The Internet is a good place to start your research. Here are a few resources, in addition to ours, where you can start your initial search:
This is the official web site of the International Franchise Association.
The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers web site is an excellent source of legal and financial advice about franchising.
Franchise Times is a top publication for franchising news and information.
After your self-evaluation, you should have some idea of the type business you want to run, i.e. home improvement, food services, advertising, construction, etc. And you should also know how much you can invest and how much of your time you can commit. This will help choose the best possibilities from the many offerings you’ll find in franchise directories.
Once you narrow it down to a few choices, you should consider:
- Is it a genuine business format franchise vs. a product distributorship?
- Does the franchisor belong to industry associations such as the IFA and AAFD?
- Has the franchised business been proven in practice?
- Is there a strong trademark name or brand?
- If it is a new business, is it a fad? How has it been tested?
- What is the competition and how do prices of the product and services compare to competitors?
- Are the products patented?
- Will the source of products be guaranteed in the future?
- Does the franchisor disclose financial information upfront?
As with anything else in life, there are clues that should tip you off that a franchise offering should be avoided. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is a misleading presentation.
Other signs that signal questionable businesses are sloppy web sites with obvious grammar and spelling errors. If a web site seems like all hype, then it probably is just that. And don’t fall for overly aggressive marketing that bullies the prospective buyer into acting fast without time for careful examination of the business.