Taking the Right Steps: Selecting Your Franchise

If you’re one of the thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs who has decided to purchase a franchise this year, you’re set to start an exciting journey. However, it is essential you take the time to properly plan that journey, and select the right destination. That means selecting the right franchise in the right industry and matching it with your personal goals, expectations, and capabilities.

Fortunately, you can find a wealth of information about the many opportunities you have to choose from. For example, the International Franchise Association has an extensive collection of articles, FAQs and other resources on its website.

Additionally, virtually all qualified franchisors work hard to provide the detailed information you need to make an educated decision as a prospective franchisee.

Following the Path

Even if you understand the pros and cons of the franchise concept, it is important to realize that all franchise opportunities are not created equally. Likewise, there are franchisors in more than 300 different industries and market segments. You will want to take the time to evaluate the many personal factors involved in finding the opportunity that matches your own particular situation. Take time to carefully assess your:

• Work experience and training

• Expectations for the amount and type of work you will do day in and day out

• Financial needs and expectations

• Personal desires and interests

For example, you can find franchises that are more focused on marketing and sales (retail and consulting), or others that require more of an operational mindset (hotels and tax services). Still others will allow you to operate alone or with a very small staff, and others are based in offices with multiple employees.

Ask the Questions before Signing the Papers

Since the franchise industry is such an important part of our economy with hundreds of thousands of franchisees, you can find the answers to almost any question you might ask. In addition to those sources listed above, there are a number of courses and third-party resources that will help you in the process of selecting your franchise. These include worksheets and checklists, consultants, and franchisee forums.

In fact, one of the best steps you can take when you narrow your candidates down to two or three specific franchisors is to talk to existing franchisees. You can do this directly with referrals from the company, as well as independently by searching the Internet for both good and bad comments and reviews. Franchisors know they live or die by successful franchisees, and the honest comments from those who have been in business for a year or more will prove very useful to your decision-making.

Do your homework, and your new franchise will prove to be the destination you’re seeking.

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