Franchise Opportunities – Where do I start?
Choosing a franchise can be a positive experience or a shot in the dark investment. Like most decisions, a systematic process for exploring and evaluating your options makes it much more likely that you'll be happy with the outcome. This guide will make your research faster, easier and more productive.
Business Franchise Opportunities - Self Assessment
Before looking at the vast amount of franchise information on the web, take a look inward.
- Available Capital – Will you be financing your franchise on your own, or considering loans? Franchises often require new franchisees to have far more capital than they'll typically use, because insufficient capital is the number one reason for franchise failure. Here are a few popular financing options you might consider:
- Franchisor Loans: Some brands offer to finance their franchisees.
- SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration offers loans to qualifying applicants.
- Commercial Bank Loans: Available at your local bank branch.
- Time Commitment – Many franchises require an owner to be present for a majority of business hours. How many hours are you able to commit?
- Goals – Why are you starting a franchise in the first place? Most people go into the process with something specific in mind, and recognizing that is critical to fulfilling it.
Top Franchise Opportunities - Industry Assessment
Analyze the industries you're interested in to make sure you're picking one with good opportunities.
- Historical Trends – Has the industry been growing in recent years? Are franchises in the industry successfully adapting to changing customer demands?
- Short-Term Projected Growth – The first few years are going to be a struggle for survival as you build a customer base and awareness for your franchise. You don't want to be competing for a shrinking market during this period.
- Long-Term Projected Demand – Will your services still be in demand in 15 years or however long you plan to work?
Best Franchise Opportunities - Franchise Assessment
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Don't limit yourself to franchises you're familiar with. A franchise offers a lot more than brand awareness – proprietary tools, training, marketing, and methods should be a major part of your selection process.
- Don't write off a brand just because its franchise fee or capital requirement is above the industry norm. The franchise fee usually reflects the level of value you should expect to receive.
Bottom Line: Give more weight to the services the company offers than your initial impression.
Steps to Get Started
- Browse through the opportunities in your industry. You can access our database through the 'Search By Industry' tab at the top of this page or narrow your search to our low cost franchises.
- Review the capital requirement to make sure you qualify.
- Pick out about 5 to explore further and you're well on your way.
What Would You Do with $25,000?
Have you ever had one of those days when you were just kind of fantasizing about what you would do if you had a crazy amount of money? I had one of those a couple of weeks back when I was looking for a new apartment. I decided to go onto an NYC realty site and take a look at what paying an absurd amount of rent gets you in the city. I was looking and came across one for $25,000 a month (and that’s nowhere near the top end) and just had to laugh. Of all the things you could do with $25,000 - paying one month’s rent on an apartment seems pretty nuts to me. But that got me thinking, what can you do with $25,000 - from rational to fun to downright wacky.
Best Franchises for Young Entrepreneurs
Politicians, academics, and corporate leaders alike love to proclaim that the "dreams of the youth" will drive our country's economic future. It's a fine sentiment, to be sure, but many of these same leaders, blind to the realities of the modern American (and global) economy, seem to incorrectly believe that these youthful dreams include following the increasingly unreliable path of earlier generations. Get a clue!
Franchise Fridays for May 20, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week
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