To Find the Right Franchise, Test Drive More Than One

Guest Writer
Author and Franchise Coach
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nearly all of the franchise prospects I work with as a franchise coach come to me with slight variations of the same fundamental question, “can you help me find the right franchise?”

The short answer is “yes,” but in reality, a prospect will only find a quality fit if they know their size and try on several franchises. This is just the beginning of the research and education process that it takes to become a successful franchisee.

Think about it. Regardless of whether you’re considering joining a country club, corporation or networking group, how can you know if it’s a perfect match for you unless you spend time weighing options and trying them all on for size? With an investment as big as owning a franchise, you want to be sure that you find the perfect fit.

Related: Franchise Players: Don't Rush to Find the Right Franchise

So, instead of just saying “yes” when prospects ask me if I can help them find the right franchise, I say, “maybe.” A lot of information needs to be gathered before a coach can provide honest, balanced guidance. When seeking a franchise opportunity that may be a fit, I ask each person I speak with to answer the following questions to see where they stand:

  • Why do you want to become a business owner and/or franchisee?

  • What are your skills? How would they apply to your new business?

  • What are your lifestyle requirements? How important is time with family?

  • What is your target market? Type of location? Likes/Dislikes?

  • Are you financially ready? Investment? Cash Flow requirements?

It’s imperative for each prospective franchisee to dig deep and determine what’s truly important to them. This is something we talk about all the time on the Franchise Focus podcast. For example, buying a Subway because ‘everyone knows the brand’ or because ‘everyone has to eat’ is an exceptionally poor way to make this type of decision. It’d be like investing in a new pair of shoes without checking the size just because it’s a brand you recognize.

Related: There's Lots of Free Help for Choosing and Funding the Right Franchise Opportunity

A franchise has to fit your objectives, skills, lifestyle and financial objectives with a positive track record of success. Just like the shoes, you can only be confident the franchise is worth investing in when you are sure it fits!

Investing in a franchise is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, so be sure that you are well educated on the subject before doing so. Once you’ve taken the time to do your homework on yourself, take a few franchise concepts (three is best) out for a test drive and see what you think. Believe me; you’ll know when it’s a fit.

Related: 10 Steps to Buying the Right Franchise

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