Investing in a franchise is a great way to own your own business. Franchise ownership minimizes risk by providing you with a product with a proven business model and an established history of success. But with the vast number of franchises available for purchase, how do you know which type of franchise will best suit your needs and will be most likely to provide a healthy return on your investment? When searching for a franchise, you should determine which type of business will bring you both financial and emotional rewards. While a number of businesses make money, the true definition of success is loving what you do–which is why a strong bottom line should be only one of your goals in pursuing franchise ownership.
- Find a franchise you are passionate about.
- Find a franchise with happy and successful owners.
- Find a franchise with a sustainable business model.
Successful franchises require investments of both time and money. Therefore, you should find something that you can really pour your heart into in order to make your investments worth it. You do not have to love a business in order for it to make you money, of course. But given the option, you should always choose to pursue a career that you find personally fulfilling. That way, even if times get tough, you will still love what you do.
Many people choose to invest in a franchise because they are looking for freedom and opportunities that they cannot find in their current working environment. Therefore, you should analyze your current and previous work circumstances and determine what you found the most (or least) rewarding about each of them. For example, do you enjoy working with children? Do you want to introduce your community to something new, such as a different type of food or a service which is otherwise currently unavailable to them? Or do you want to focus more on convenience and less on ingenuity (for example, opening a local branch of a famous fast food chain which is currently underrepresented in your area)? Remember that in order to truly get as much information as possible out of this analysis, you need to set aside the prospect of making money. If you are making a franchise decision based solely upon what you think will be the most lucrative, then you could end up being as unhappy in your role as a franchise owner as you have been in other jobs.
You do need to make money in order to survive, of course. But by focusing on looking for a franchise which can fulfill you personally, you will be better equipped to focus your energy into your business, which can lead to financial success. Do what you love and do it right, and the money will come.
Finding something that you love is, of course, only one part of the goal. No matter how much you love your business, it will not succeed if components of the program outside of your control are holding it back. Remember that the structure of a franchise has both upsides and downsides. The upside is that you get to start with a recognizable product with proven success. The downside is that you are restricted as far as implementing your own ideas and practices; a certain portion of your business will be completely outside of your control. Therefore, the best way to learn about how the franchise functions on a daily basis–and whether the structure of the franchise is user-friendly and capable of making you money–is to speak with other franchise owners. They can answer your questions and give you information that you will not be able to find anywhere else.
The good news is that any successful franchisor wants you to make money. Therefore, their products and marketing systems are intended to help you succeed; but speaking with current and past owners of similar franchises will help you to determine whether a particular business is likely to suit your needs.
By its very nature, the business model of a franchise has the potential to be successful, given that it has flourished well enough in the past to make that business available as a franchise in the first place. In this instance, however, we are talking about finding a business model which not only works in theory, but which will work for you, personally. For example, if you plan on working at your franchise (as opposed to just owning it), you should not choose a business which will require a lot of evening and weekend hours if you are not available for that type of work.
This analysis also requires reviewing your local market to see if it is one which is able to support such a business. You do not want to start a franchise related to farm equipment, for example, if you live in an area which is strictly urban. The goal is to invest in a franchise which fulfills a local need while suiting your personal interests and furthering your goals.
By choosing the right franchise, you could be selecting the one job that you will have for the rest of your life. Therefore, you want to find a franchise with a sustainable product for which a flourishing market is likely to exist for years to come. Ask yourself, “Do customers want or need this product? Is this product adequately satisfying their needs? Is the existing need likely to continue in the future? And is this product flexible to the extent that it can continue to meet those needs over time?” If you can answer “yes” to each of those questions, then it is likely that you have found a franchise with a sustainable business model that can bring you many years of happiness and success.