|October, 2007 – Source: Franchise Research Corp.
Driving through almost any town in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, you’re bound to encounter a handful of franchises. With their eye-catching logos and recognizable appearances (“Golden Arches”, anyone?), they are difficult to miss. Truly, franchises have come to be expected sights, deeply woven into the fabric of our society.
For entrepreneurs seeking to become part of the multi-billion dollar franchise industry, the choices are practically endless… and, consequently, can be incredibly overwhelming. Determining which franchise or even franchise type in which to invest can leave even the most eager potential franchisees scratching their heads in dismay.
However, it’s important to recognize that there are tried-and-true ways to narrow your focus if you’re in the market for a franchise opportunity. Below are seven of the most effective methods to use to help you find your ideal franchise match, culled from recommendations by the experts at MatchPoint? Franchise Consulting Network.
1. Consider your Credentials
Though it’s not always necessary for a franchisee to hold a specific degree or have a specialized background, it can be of assistance in determining which franchisors to investigate. For instance, fast food industry franchisors usually require that franchisees have some prior expertise in the restaurant business before being considered as viable investors.
If you haven’t devoted energy to pulling together your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), now is the time to do so. Once on paper, your background will typically be easier to evaluate, and a franchise path may instantly become clear.
2. Take Logistics into Consideration
Unless you’re prepared to relocate, you should be able to narrow down your franchise possibilities by simply investigating which franchisors and franchise types already have a presence in your community. Accordingly, if you have your heart set on owning a UPS store, you may be out of luck if one already exists in your neighborhood.
Certainly, not all franchises offer exclusive territories, but those that do are likely to be “off limits” unless you move to or work in another town. A reputable franchise consultant can be invaluable in helping you uncover which franchises will be “open” to consideration in your region.
3. Avail yourself of a Free Personality Assessment
A few of the more reputable franchise consultant groups, such as MatchPoint?, offer free franchise personality assessments for entrepreneurs exploring their options. Questions delve into both your experience and your intrinsic traits in an effort to provide you with viable franchise options.
Such personal assessments enable you to glean objective suggestions in terms of your ultimate franchise match(es). Additionally, your franchise consultant will probably be aware of some franchises that both fit your personality and are currently for sale in your area.
4. Contemplate your Capital
Though finances shouldn’t be the deciding factor in finding a franchise “match”, they will absolutely play a significant role. For instance, some franchises have relatively low start-up fees and can therefore be attractive to investors with smaller investment dollars. Others require more capital (and are usually less risky, as in the case of Subway, consistently one of the top global franchises, which requires an investment of between $75,000-$222,000 USD and has an outstanding franchise success rate.)
Even if you have very little in terms of liquid assets or net worth, you can find other means of obtaining capital, including through venture capitalists, loans, or professional partnerships. However, each of those alternatives carries with it new risks and must be examined on a case-by-case basis.
5. Evaluate your Likes and Dislikes
Hate cosmetics? Then why would you want to sell them for a living? Not interested in frozen treats? An ice cream parlor will probably leave you flat.
Simply because a franchise is “perfect” for your area (“We don’t have an automotive supply place in town! I hate cars and trucks, but it seems like such a great fit!”) doesn’t mean that you should invest in it; after all, matching you to the ideal business is as much about your likes and dislikes as it is about fiscal viability.
Because you’ll likely be working at your franchise for many hours, perhaps up to seven days a week, for the first few years or even longer, it’s critical that you enjoy the product or service you’re selling to clientele.
6. Reflect upon your Idyllic Work Environment
Are you someone who enjoys doing everything “solo”? Or do you get fired up when obtaining feedback from colleagues? Though being a franchisee will require a certain amount of teamwork, not all franchises are set up in the same way.
For instance, a 24/7 retail establishment will require many employees; thus, you’ll be expected to head a group of workers, handling negotiations and conflict as well as day-to-day operations. On the other hand, some work-from-home franchises are arranged to allow franchisees to work independently, a system that offers more autonomy but less collaboration.
7. Ask Yourself where you want to be in Five (or Ten) Years
Finally, it’s imperative to honestly determine where you expect to be both professionally and personally in the coming years. If you cannot see yourself staying in your current area of the country, a traditional “brick-and-mortar” franchise is not the right choice (unless you can sell it to another investor.) An Internet-based franchise may be more appropriate if you’re planning a move, as it will offer flexibility in locale.
Most franchisors will require a time commitment of up to a couple of decades from their franchisees; therefore, you must mentally explore your expectations in terms of where your life is headed before signing any legally binding agreements.
Rest Assured: There is a Match for you Out There!
Feeling daunted by all the franchises on the market? Don’t despair! If you have the personality and determination to become a franchise owner, a perfect match is just waiting for you to find it. Contact our knowledgeable professionals and take that first step to becoming your own boss!
? 2007 Franchise Research Corp