Your first step is to make certain being a franchisee is right for you. Although as a franchisee you are essentially your own boss, you may not be as unfettered as an independent entrepreneur.
"The advantage of being a franchisee is that someone else has taken a lot of the risks in the business and has perfected and refined a system," Siebert points out. "To be successful, you must follow a prescribed set of rules."
"An independent entrepreneur makes all the decisions, whereas a franchisee listens and follows a game plan," adds John Campbell, CEO of Franchise Masters, a franchise-development and consulting company in Minneapolis.
One thing remains the same for entrepreneurs and franchisees, though: Both are responsible for their own success. "Don't think that because you become a franchisee you'll automatically become successful," says Campbell. "The franchisor is only providing the tools; the rest is up to you."