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The Next Steps

You've decided to take the plunge. Now what?

Making the decision to buy a franchise is only the first step. The next is narrowing down hundreds of franchises to find the one that's right for you. Start by determining what you want as a franchisee, advises Jeff Elgin, founder of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides consulting to consumers looking for a franchise. Are you OK with working nights and weekends, or would you prefer regular office hours? Do you want a service-oriented business or one that is product-oriented? What kinds of tasks and industries do you find most appealing? The answers to these questions will help you focus your search for the best type of franchise for you.

Then do your due diligence by thoroughly researching your top choices. Search online to gather as much information as you can find. Next, carefully review the material provided in the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. Finally, talk to people already in the system. Aside from important information such as expenses and fees associated with the franchise, the UFOC also has contact information for existing franchisees, who can give you a glimpse into the type of support, training and assistance you can expect to receive.

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This article was originally published in the March 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: The Next Steps.

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