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Franchise Buying Guide

Shop, Look & Listen

How to size up a franchise before you buy
Presented by Guidant Financial
Guidant Financial specializes in helping entrepreneurs purchase new franchises using their retirement funds.

Competition in franchising has never been healthier. In virtually all categories of business, you'll find several competing franchisors eager to sell you a franchise, if you qualify. That's the good news. The bad news is, you'll have to choose among the leading contenders on your list.

Making a rational choice among several attractive franchised businesses can be agonizing. How can you possibly draw a straight comparison among such complex programs with so many variables? The process is complicated by the inconsistency of the information available. On top of that, investing in a franchise is a major life decision you want to get right, because you may be involved in that business for many years.

There are a few things you should take into account before you start comparing franchises. First, the demands on your time and energy will be great. Assume your commitment to the business will be the same no matter which franchise you choose.

Next, make sure you'll be happy operating any of the businesses you're considering. The question of finding a business in which you'll be happy comes first. If you're not convinced of your personal fit with a particular business, cross it off your list of franchises up for serious consideration.

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This article was originally published in the May 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Shop, Look & Listen.

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