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How can I determine if owning a franchise will fit my business goals?

I've always wanted to own my own business and think that a franchise might be a great option. Is there a way to evaluate my potential to become a successful franchisee?
Jeff Elgin answered September 15, 2010
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222156
You've asked two great questions. The key to the first question is that you've actually taken the time to set goals that you want your business to accomplish. This is fantastic because it is going to help you in many ways as you conduct your search for a great business opportunity to fit with you.

As to your specific question, the chances are very good that if your business goals are reasonable you can indeed find a franchise that will be able to achieve them with your investment and hard work.

A successful franchisee needs to have three things and the hardest one to find is a factor that you're already demonstrating. The first key to success is knowing what your goals are--what result do you want to achieve through business ownership?

The second key to success is to be able to follow a proven system in order to achieve predictable results. That's the secret of a great franchisor--he has worked the bugs out of his system and so he doesn't need innovation, just execution. As long as you're comfortable with not reinventing the wheel everyday, a franchise system can be great for you.

The final factor is financial resources. Most franchise companies don't provide direct financing so you'll need to make sure that any franchise you pick is within the investment parameters you can afford.

As long as you've got these three factors going for you, you have the potential to be a very successful franchisee.

Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.