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What should I do first--secure financing for a franchise or continue with the application process with the franchisor?

I am 27 years old and have been looking into buying a Subway franchise with my mother. We wanted to provide her a supplemental income for retirement and I wanted to own and operate my own business. I have years of restaurant operating experience, but the whole process seems daunting. I am not sure if I should continue the loan application or continue the franchisee application. We have about five sites that we would like to place the store however we have not decided totally on a location yet. So all in all I guess I was wondering what steps to take first in the aquirement of a Subway.
<P>Which comes first - the chicken or the egg?  Great question.  Both of these steps are essential in getting your new business off the ground, so I would work on the basics of both needs at the same time.  You're probably going to need to finalize your franchise in terms of getting approved by the franchisor as a new franchisee and knowing where your site is going to be before you get final approval for your financing, but there is no reason not to do some of the preliminary work on the financing while you're getting all the details set for the franchise.  </P>
<P>As a final note, I would ask the folks at the franchise company for advice on this question as well since they've undoubtedly helped many others that came before you in the same situation.  They might have some shortcuts or suggestions to make the process easier or faster for you to complete.</P>