How do I Choose the Best Franchise?

N. Madison

Choosing the best franchise can be a difficult process, especially since you may find many good opportunities. When deciding which opportunity to pursue, you may do well to consider your personal interests and experiences as well as the time commitment you are willing to make. You'll also need to consider the amount of money you have to invest in a franchise and any financing resources that are available to you. Taking the time to learn in-depth information about the franchise you're considering, including details about its financial status, is usually important as well. Additionally, you may do well to consider the types of training and support a franchise offers before you make your decision.

A gift basket made by a franchise.
A gift basket made by a franchise.

There is an abundance of franchise opportunities from which you may choose. They may all have things to recommend them, but choosing the best franchise means considering them in light of your interests, past experience, skills, and willingness to learn a new business. If you are interested in gifts, you may consider a gift basket franchise, for example. On the other hand, you may have experience in office equipment sales that would make you well qualified to run an office equipment franchise. You may even decide that you want to learn a brand-new business, and if you can find a franchise that offers good training and support, such an opportunity may work well for you.

You may also consider time commitments when attempting to choose the best franchise opportunity. You may decide you'd like to be an owner operator, which involves doing much of the work of running the business, if not all of it, yourself. If your lifestyle is already very busy, however, you may decide to pursue a franchise that lends itself to hiring a manager and employees, allowing you to have more time for other commitments. Likewise, you may do well to choose a franchise that has typical hours that won't interfere with those commitments. For example, you may prefer a business that won't usually require you to work on weekends or in the evenings.

Money matters can be a big part of choosing the best franchise as well. You'll need to carefully consider the investment you can afford and make sure you have not only enough money to get started, but also enough to keep the business operating until you begin to see significant profit. If the business you’re interested in is beyond your current financial means, you may also consider whether the franchisor offers financing as well as the potential for getting start-up capital from other sources. If you decide to seek loan money to start your business, choosing the best franchise often means making sure you won't be in a precarious financial situation after signing the loan agreement.

Once you've narrowed your choices a bit, it's important to do a thorough study of the franchise opportunities that are still in the running. This means reading all of the disclosures and statements the franchisor provides and asking for additional information, if necessary, to learn about the company's financial status, credit, and projected future. You may also speak to existing franchisees to learn how they are faring with the opportunity you are considering. If a franchise opportunity's existing franchisees aren't making money, you may want to reconsider investing in it.

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