The franchise business model is a popular one. Franchises are available in nearly any type of business you can imagine. So how do you find the best franchise opportunities? It takes research and experience.
The first place to start is with yourself. You cannot begin to identify the best franchise opportunity for you until you consider a fair assessment of your skills, experience and interests. Your financial profile is another critical component. Franchise opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, and most likely there is a business available that fits your budget. Your search will be much more effective if you have a clear picture of both your capabilities and your available capital before you begin to evaluate business models.
Another important consideration is your lifestyle goals. Do you want to be a hands-on owner working behind the counter every day? Are you looking for a business you can train others to run while you build out more businesses? Those considerations will drive the type of business you will want to explore for franchise ownership.
Once you know what you are looking for, you will still find hundreds of business opportunities that potentially fit the bill. You could spend months scouring websites, requesting information and attending expos. A more efficient approach would be to work with a franchise consultant who can do much of the legwork for you.
After narrowing the field, you still have some research to do. You will meet with the franchisors, and that allows both sides to assess whether you will fit in well in that business. Another important step is to interview other franchisees. Talk with several if possible and ask the hard questions. They are in the best position to paint a true picture of what your experience will be, so make the most of that opportunity.
By this point you should have a good feel for which businesses will suit your goals and expectations. Next you can begin to dive into the details of franchise agreements, franchise disclosure documents and financing. Do not hesitate to rely on professionals to help you navigate those details. With some sound decisions under your belt you will be well on your way to successful business ownership.
Pete Gilfillan has helped many people realize their dream of becoming franchise owners through his business Winning Franchise Solutions. With over 20 years as a corporate executive across multiple industries combined with a history of small business ownership, Pete offers his clients a wide breadth of experience. Pete holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and lives in Naperville, Illinois with his wife and four children.