With thousands of franchises to choose from, deciding which one is the best for you can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you make the right decision.
Choose a Franchise Ownership Model
Your day-to-day involvement will be determined by how the franchise ownership model is structured. There are three common types. With the executive model, you hire everyone to do the work for you. It’s essentially an investment of your money only. With the owner/operator model, you’ll be actively working at the business on a daily basis. Lastly, with the semi-absentee model, you’ll most likely keep your regular job and can run the franchise as a side business. You’ll still be involved, but you’ll probably hire a general manager to handle the day-to-day operations. Learn more about ownership models.
Find Your Passion
Obviously, if you’re interested in the hands-off executive model, finding your passion doesn’t apply to you in choosing a franchise. But if you’re looking to be an owner/operator, you need to carefully consider how you’ll be spending your time at the business, day in, day out. Obviously, choosing a business that you’re interested in is going to be a better fit. But it goes way beyond that. For example, you may be a total foodie, but working at a restaurant is quite different than dining at one. You’ll need to consider what your specific role will be. Do you like working with the public, or do you prefer to remain behind the scenes? Do you like managing others, or do you prefer to work alone? Bottom line: what are you good at and what do you enjoy? If you can make that part of your everyday role, you can greatly improve your chances for success. (Not to mention your happiness!) Also, look realistically at the hours you’ll be working. Do they fit with your idea of an ideal lifestyle?
What’s Your Budget?
Looking at your financial situation realistically is another very important step in choosing a franchise. You can’t expect your franchise to be profitable right out of the gate. So you have to look carefully at funding sources and how much financial risk you’re willing to take. Some franchises don’t require as much money upfront, but may have other risk factors. You’ll also want to look at the funding sources available.
Most Important: Validation
Once you have narrowed down your choices, don’t skip the process of validation, where you talk directly to other franchisees. You’ll learn first-hand why the franchise is a good choice – or not. Talking one-on-one with the people who are running the business every day will give you a realistic look at the pros and cons at the ground level – something you’d never get from talking to the franchisor alone. Learn more about validation.