How Franchising Works

Selecting the Right Franchise

How do you select the business franchise that fits your needs, skills and desires best, while also making sure you're joining a top-notch organization? There are some steps to take to begin the weeding-out process. So put on your inspector's hat and begin formulating a game plan.

First of all, think about the work environment you are interested in, and the requirements that running businesses in various industries will have. For example, do you like working late (and long) hours, hiring and managing employees, and dealing with the public? If so, you could consider the food service industry. Think long and hard about what "fits" your lifestyle. Involve your family and any friends or associates you may want to pull into the business. Write down your objectives. Sometimes, just the act of writing things down helps you more clearly identify what you really want.

Once you have identified the general category of business you want enter into, visit some of the franchising Web sites we have listed at the end of this article. On most of these sites, you can search for franchises based on investment levels, type of business, and sometimes geographic region. Some even give you estimated breakdowns of what your total investments will be, as well as the ongoing royalty and advertising payments. You can also use a franchising consultant to help narrow down your choices.

When you get a list put together, begin contacting the franchisors for additional information. One thing to keep in mind throughout this process is that while you're shopping for a franchise, those franchises are also out there shopping for franchisees. You'll be interrogated as much as you interrogate them. You both have to agree that it's a good match in order to proceed.