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Good Buy

So you think buying a franchise is the best path to your business dreams? Now you need directions to the right choice of opportunity.

Getting from point A to point B is the fundamental challenge for all travelers. Savvy voyagers know the second most important tool for the journey--the first being a dry pair of socks--is a road map. This is true even if your presonal point B is not a charming town on the other side of the state, but the twin destinations of owning your own business and achieving financial success. Franchising is a well-worn route to business success and offers a clear map of how to make business ownership work for you.

Forget your impression of fast-food restaurants, and think of franchising this way: A franchisor is an experienced partner prepared to teach you how to operate its successful business concept, license to you the right to use its famous--or at least established--trademark, and provide continuing support while you build and operate your business. You own the business; you're nobody's employee. You invest in a substantial initial franchise fee, designed to cover the costs of your training and support during the business launch, and a monthly or weekly fee for the continuing right to participate in the program. Now apply this set of ideas to virtually any retail business, and you'll begin to understand why franchising excites so many people.

A franchised business is more than most of the packages "business opportunities" you've seen advertised. A franchise is not a one-time package purchase, and it's not a get-rich-quick come-on. The franchise company creates an ongoing relationship with you, the investor. You aren't left to find your way on your own, as you are with a business opportunity investment. A solid course of training sets you up to succeed, and detailed printed and electronic materials guide you in every aspect of preparing the product or service, managing employees and excelling at customer service. This service does come with a price: The franchisor receives a regular royalty payment based on the level of business you conduct, usually assessed as a percentage of your gross sales.

When it works well, everybody wins. Hundreds of thousands of franchised businesses have employed this carefully balanced approach to franchise business expansion and individual investment. In business terms, no one has ever devised a better road map to business ownership success.

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