Buying a franchise or business op-portunity is like buying a car: You'll quickly find yourself at the intersection of wants, needs and wallet. Move with caution in your decision-making, or you could end up with a lemon.
As with anything else, you must look beyond the company's glossy brochure to the substance of the program. As an investor, what exactly will you receive? If training is promised, find out how much, how long and where it will be given. If you're promised an initial inventory, know what you'll be getting and when you should receive it. Don't assume you'll be able to easily sell that initial inventory. Too many buyers react to the concept of a business without thinking about the necessity of approaching customers to make a sale.
Never be afraid to negotiate the purchase price and terms of either a franchise or a business opportunity. Behind the scenes at these companies, there's enormous pressure to make the sale to you; use it to your advantage. When you find a program that meets your needs and wants, fight to make it fit your wallet. Propose a lower initial purchase price, a reduced franchise fee for the first year, a deferred portion of the initial investment, the option to put purchase money in escrow until inventory is delivered, and special payment terms. You'll be surprised how often the company's answer will be yes.