Posted on Feb 03, 2011
Lindsay Hall's Tips for Choosing the Right Franchise
When deciding which franchise business will best fit your personality and lifestyle, there are several different elements to consider. You will want to be as objective as possible so that you can accurately evaluate where your personal strengths and weaknesses lie, thereby selecting the best match to your individual skill set.
1. Focus on your assets: It is important to evaluate what you will be bringing to the table as a franchisee. What is your background and experience? What are your interests? In what type of work atmosphere have you particularly thrived, and why? What kind of financial backing will you have? How many hours will you be able to work, and will your family be supportive of this schedule? The more clarity you have regarding your strengths, the easier it will be to focus on franchises that will capitalize your assets.
2. Keep your options open: When researching franchise opportunities, it’s important to keep an open mind as to what type of business will best fit your individual needs. Just because you like a particular product or service doesn’t mean you should buy that franchise — you will want to research hours, territory, capital, and demand before making the final decision on the best franchise investment. By remaining open to a variety of franchise opportunities, you will be able to select the one that best suits your lifestyle.
3. Narrow it down: Once you have selected several franchises you would be interested in owning, contact each franchisor to obtain all of the pertinent information about each company. Thoroughly evaluate all of the material provided, and document your initial impressions of each franchise and their sales staff. Do the marketing materials look professional? Does the staff seem knowledgeable and courteous? Your initial impressions can help you reach your final decision.
4. Read the FDD: Hire an experienced franchise lawyer and have them help you go over the Franchise Disclosure Document for each company. A franchise lawyer will be able to alert you to any problem areas, and help guide you towards the franchise that seems to have the most solid business plan.
5. Meet with other franchisees: Before signing any franchise agreement, be sure to meet with some current franchisees in the business you are considering investing in to get their overall impression of the organization. Are they happy with the support they receive? Do they have any complaints or concerns?
6. Meet with franchisors: Once you have narrowed the field down to several potential candidates, it’s time to meet with the franchisor on-site and dig a little deeper. This is the time to ask questions, get some hands-on experience, and see first-hand how the franchise business operates. By the end of your meeting, you should have a solid understanding of what you will be working with, and you will be more prepared to make an informed decision from there.
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