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Prospective Franchisee Survey Results 2016

Prospective Franchisee Survey 2016-1

Franchise Direct periodically conduct surveys to gather demographic information and motivation factors behind franchise investment.


The latest survey took place over six weeks between the end of April 2016 and the beginning of June 2016. Simple and anonymous, the survey provided a profile of the users that visit Franchise Direct. It was comprised of 23 questions covering the respondents’ demographic information, research process, franchise areas interested in, and more.


The 2016 survey tallied 389 respondents. Their feedback is summarized in the statistics and graphs that follow.


Their Demographics

If we were to give a profile for a “typical” franchise seeker on our website it would be a white male who is between 36 and 45. He is likely a college graduate, employed by another company at the moment with some management experience.


What is your gender?-1






What is your ethnicity?-1


What is the highest level of formal education you have attained to this point?-1


What is your employment status?-1


Do you have management experience?-1


Their Motivations 

The adage of wanting to in business for yourself, but not by yourself still holds true. Approximately 39% of respondents said they’re turning towards franchise ownership mostly because they want to be their own boss, but don’t want to come up with their own business idea. A number of others want additional income or want to expand their existing business ventures.


What is the primary reason you are considering franchising?-1


Their Interests

No surprise here. Most respondents are considering starting a franchise within the food industry. Also unsurprisingly, home-based franchises are top of mind for franchise prospects.

  Accounting & Financial


  Advertising & Marketing


  Automotive Franchises


  Business Services


  Children's Franchises


  Cleaning Franchises


  Computer & Internet


  Consultant & Business Broker


  Employment & Staffing


  Entertainment Franchises


  Fitness Franchises


  Food Franchises - Fast Food


  Food Franchises - Fast Casual


  Food Franchises - Full Service Restaurant


  Health & Beauty


  Healthcare & Senior Care


  Home Services Franchises


  Home-based Franchises


  Mailing & Shipping


  Moving & Storage


  Pet Franchises


  Printer, Copying & Sign


  Real Estate Franchises


  Retail Franchises


  Security Franchises


  Sports Franchises


  Travel Franchises


  Vending Opportunities


Industries that Interest Potential Franchise Owners


Their Research Process

How long have you been considering franchising?-1


A sizable number (46%) of our survey respondents admit they don’t know a lot about the franchise application process, which is somewhat surprising considering just below half (49%) have already spoken to a franchisor about buying a franchise. However, 47% of survey respondents indicated they likely will seek to fill their knowledge gap by enlisting the help of a franchise consultant at some point during their search.


Currently, the top places the survey respondents are looking for franchise information are franchisor websites (65%) with online franchise directories close behind (62%). Other places prospects gather information on franchises are: magazines (16%), tradeshows and conferences (10%), franchise consultants (8%), and acquaintances like friends and relatives (6%).


How familiar are you with the franchise application process?-1


Have you spoken to a franchisor yet about buying a franchise?-1


Have you ever participated in an online franchise webinar?-1


Have you sought the assistance of a franchise consultant?-1


What’s important to these franchisee prospects when doing research? A detailed franchise background and investment overview.


Of the five parts of a franchise profile given (success stories, current franchisee testimonials, franchise background information, investment overview, and video introductions to the franchise opportunity), the franchise investment overview was cited most often as the most important part of a franchise profile.


Ranking in Order of Importance of the Given Parts of Franchise Profiles-1

Ranking in Order of Importance of the Given Parts of Franchise Profiles


Prospective franchisees participating in the survey stated they are also very interested in the following franchise information:


  • More clearly defined information on locations available for franchises
  • What demographics the franchise is best suited for
  • Information about franchise accreditation and Better Business Bureau status
  • More about the actual day-to-day experiences of those running franchise units


Their Financial Concerns

Nearly half of our survey respondents (47%) are planning to use their savings or retirement funds to start a franchise. Since so many are going to (or have been forced to) look beyond bank or credit union financing, they need to keep their initial investment low.


In which range does your annual household income fall?-1


How much are you planning to spend to start a franchise?-1


How do you plan to finance your franchise?-1


What percentage of the initial investment are you looking to finance through outsiders-1


Here are some additional pieces of franchise information prospective franchisees would like to see more of in sales profiles:


  • Clearer financial investment info, breakdown instead of overall cost, etc.
  • ROI details, profit potential
  • Financial stats over the years (in tabular form)
  • Info on how to get financing, including options on lenders for bad credit


Overall, the survey respondents were keen on starting their own franchise, but want to be as sure as possible that their investment is as safe as it could be.


Thank you for reading the results of our 2016 Prospective Franchisee Survey! We hope these finding have been as enlightening to you as they have been to us.


About the Survey Selection

Respondents to this survey were not selected on a random basis. Participants for the survey were invited through announcements sent via company newsletter mailing lists. This method does not qualify as a random sample of the whole prospective franchisee population and, as such, the results from this survey cannot be generalized to the entire prospective franchisee population. Instead, these results are representative of the opinions of the prospective franchisee population in a certain segment.

For more information about the results of this survey and how the survey was conducted, please contact Franchise Direct at

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