As a potential new business owner, knowledge is the single greatest tool at your disposal. From the very first moment you decide that you would like to look into franchise ownership, the more information you have, the better your chance of ultimate success. With all of the available data out there, the task of research can seem daunting at first. Just where do you begin your search for your ideal franchise?
Your greatest tool for initial research is the internet. There is a vast storehouse of information at your fingertips, just waiting for you to pull it up. It’s quick and it’s convenient. After all, you’re already here reading this article.
It pays to start by looking at the big picture, then narrowing down your research. Checking out the websites for the American Franchisee Association, the International Franchise Association and the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers will help get you started in the right direction. These resources will not only help you get started in your search for the right franchisor, but offer a great deal of practical know-how to help you succeed in your business.
Research and Publications
A great deal of data has already been collected by knowledgeable and diligent professionals. There is no need to devote an excessive amount of time tracking down the information that others have already assembled. Most major financial publications (e.g. USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc., etc.) offer an online presence. These provide an excellent starting point. Beyond those broad sweeping publication, there are a number of journals dedicated specifically to the area of franchising. Such publications include Franchise World, and Franchise Times, Multi-Unit Franchisee, and Franchise UPDATE.
There are also a number of independent research companies out there. These can provide invaluable insight into the franchising market. Research tools such as FRANdata and FranSurvey can provide you with detailed and comprehensive overviews that can help guide your decision making process.
Government agencies also offer varying degrees of insight into franchising. The Federal Trade Commission offers a great deal of information regarding franchising and how to protect yourself and your new business. The Small Business Administration is also an excellent resource. The SBA site provide practical and invaluable information regarding the intricacies of franchise ownership. The SBA’s Franchise Registry is also an great tool when searching for a franchise and offers listings of businesses that are backed by the SBA’s loan guarantees.
Once you have a good general view of the scope of the franchising landscape it is time to dig deeper. The amount of information that you can glean using a good old-fashioned Boolean search engine is almost limitless. Start with broad searches and work your way towards more refined searches as you hone in on a few select franchise.
Excellent sources for narrowing your search include franchise consultants and brokers, though be advised many (if not all) have their own agendas and may not have your best interest at heart. Nevertheless, they can be valuable tools in selecting your franchise. Researching specific franchisor websites can also provide you with some valuable information. Also look into business association in your area and read up on franchise related blogs for more information.
It pays to be informed. This is your business and its fate rests in your hands. Leave no stone unturned and you vastly increase your chances for success.
Source by Brad Swanson