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How Do I Know What Franchise Is Right for Me? Find your perfect fit by considering skills, preferences, lifestyle and market.

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So, you want to be your own boss, but you're not sure what you actually want to do? You're not alone. With increasing frequency these days, individuals are striking out on their own, looking for more flexibility and ownership of their time and effort. Sixty-two percent of adults believe entrepreneurship is a good career, according to Babson College researchers.

Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs, particularly in the realm of franchising. The appeal of a known brand and proven business plan are hard to deny. How do you begin to find the right fit among those options, though?

Inventory your skill sets and work preferences.

Start at the beginning: What are your skills and strengths? What do you enjoy doing? Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Once you list these attributes, you can begin considering industries and types of business start-ups that would make the best use of your talents.

National Business Capital and Services reports that 38 percent of entrepreneurs consider self-discipline as key to their success as small business owners. Other top success factors are communication skills, passion, and drive. If these are on your list, you are on the right track.

Explore the possibilities that fit your interests and lifestyle.

To find truly fulfilling opportunities, consider your interests and passions. Franchising categories such as food, education, nature, technology or exercise can guide you to the right fit. Publications, like Entrepreneur, and websites rate franchise businesses on a variety of factors. These lists can provide a wealth of information, including requirements you cannot or do not wish to meet. You may even discover franchise business brands with which you were not familiar but that are in line with your interests.

For example, thousands of individuals with interests in children and education have built successful Kumon Learning Centers. The Kumon Method appeals to their interests, and Kumon Centers are known to attract motivated, returning clients. To qualify for a Kumon Franchise, individuals must, at minimum, hold a bachelor's degree, serve as the Center's instructor and be available to work during late afternoon and evening hours. For more details about how to become a franchise owner, visit the Kumon franchise website for additional requirements.

Determine the market capacity.

Research from CBInsights indicates the top reason that 42 percent of businesses fail is a lack of need in the market area. As you narrow your list of options, take time to research the market and determine if a need exists in your area. Know the top competitors and their presence in your market. Top franchise businesses have broad market capacity information available.

Research investment costs, timeline to break even, and potential ROI.

Business owners must be able to pay upfront costs and to sustain the business until it breaks even or makes a profit. Sixty-two percent of small-business owners use personal funds for start-up and to meet financial challenges, according to Federal Reserve Banks. The Covid-19 pandemic has not made the daily challenges any easier. Are you prepared to sustain several lean years while building your business?

Kumon North America's Vice President of Center Network Development John Collins says, "Kumon's business model is popular among new entrepreneurs, with a relatively low franchise investment, paired with significant incentives for signage, advertising and ongoing support."

Identify franchise support from corporate.

Starting a new business always has risks, and ongoing support for new franchises can play a key role in business owners' satisfaction and success. Support may come in the form of training, bulk pricing on supplies, promotional materials, consulting availability, access to technology systems or other needs specific to the industry. It is important to fully understand the types of assistance you can expect when opening a franchise business. For example, Kumon franchisees are assigned a dedicated support staff member to guide them on the various aspects of running a Kumon Center.

Starting a business can be more than a distant dream. With appropriate research and due diligence, you can take the steps toward entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open.

To learn if the Kumon Franchise opportunity is right for you, visit kumonfranchise.com.

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