What’s the best franchise opportunity?
That’s a very common and natural question, and I used to spend way too much time trying to answer it. That was before I realized it’s a ridiculous question for a person to answer.
I was flattered to think my opinion mattered enough for people to be interested, and I was sucked into wasting time giving an answer. Why was it wasted time? Because what I think about the best franchise opportunity has very little bearing on what might be right for my fellow man.
What? A franchise expert is saying that his opinions don’t matter? Well … to a point. When it comes to a franchise purchase, my opinion should be valued only as objective information. Who then should prospective franchisees ask for advice on the best franchise opportunity if not the so-called experts? They should ask themselves AFTER the objective due diligence is complete.
A consultant can help with facts, figures, and if smart enough and insightful enough, with sorting out non-factual issues, but no consultant is capable of making a long-lasting, quality decision about another person’s franchise selection. It is far too intimate a matter, and it’s a decision that will impact the buyer’s life for years. There are far too many bad decisions and far too many unhappy franchisees.
The role of a counselor is to listen and hear the personal problems of others; to take notes, think, reflect, and reach for the core of the problem. In a successful encounter the counselor might help clients see issues behind the problem and then possible solutions. This is accomplished through encouragement and highlighting key items that effect the individual; items that the client could have missed for any number of reasons. The bottom line is that counseling clients come to discuss problems and sift through the muck and mire in an effort to gain clarity and direction. The important take away here is understanding clients must arrive at their own answers. The counselor cannot tell clients what to think or what to do or it would be a worthless exercise. Even if the counselor feels strongly about a solution or an outcome, giving instructions for change is meaningless.
Unfortunately there are hundreds of self proclaimed franchise consultants advertising free services. Google free franchise consulting and you’ll be overwhelmed. How do they earn money? By making a sale, of course. If you want a consultant to help you, hire one. Pay the fee and know that your best interests are first and foremost.
Having studied franchising and counseling I know that one person’s path should not be chosen by another. Anyone who claims the ability to choose the best franchise opportunity for another is a liar, a fool, or both. And to be perfectly clear, a consultant who is working for a commission is in the business of sales. Get the picture? The only way for a consultant to remain loyal to the client’s needs is to be hired and paid by the client. And yes, our firm has followed that consulting method for buying a franchise since its inception.
Only you can choose your best franchise opportunity.
Here’s the bottom line for finding the best franchise opportunity for you. 1. Find a means of analyzing/identifying your interests, skills, personal goals, comfort zone and pocketbook. You can find questionnaires online, books, a career counselor, or self-help programs for prospective entrepreneurs. You might also consider the help of a friend who is already doing well in business. 2. Learn the ropes of in-depth franchise due diligence. Again, research will point you in the right direction for analyzing franchises. The buying a franchise section of this site offers good direction and insight.
This is the truth: The best franchise opportunity is the one best suited to the buyer. Only one person can identify their best franchise opportunity. That would be YOU.