Franchise Information sources are numerous
QUESTION: Can you recommend any beginners guides or franchise information sources for learning about the franchise industry? In other words, are there resources out there that amount to a franchise version of “DYI franchising” for starting a new franchise?
Yes, but learn to choose between fact and fiction.
There are countless resources for franchise information on both franchising a business and buying a franchise. Online research alone will result in more copy than you can read in a lifetime. But the key is differentiating between factual guidance and salesmanship. Naturally we encourage you to take in all of the posts on our franchise blog as well our many franchise articles. We pride ourselves on choosing education over salesmanship when providing industry information. But this is just one source of franchise information.
Information for franchise buyers
If your goal is to buy a franchise, you probably know by now that there are thousands of websites dedicated to selling them whether those sites are owned by franchisors or by brokerage and advertising companies gathering sales leads. While those sites are good to see a variety of brands, they are not necessarily a good starting point as franchise information resources. Why? Because their business is promoting franchise sales and unless you have an understanding of what you want and how the process works, you can easily become distracted and confused by the number of offerings out there.
Also, be aware that the majority of folks calling themselves ‘franchise consultants’ are operating as sales people and brokers. You may receive good help from those who are really knowledgeable, but understand their goal is simple: earn a sales commission. A true consultant works for you and you can expect to pay for information and protection. A ‘free’ franchise consultant is working to make a sale. They are not working for free.
Information if you’re financing a franchise purchase
If it’s the financing side of franchising that interests you, some great capital resources are found in “Franchise Times” Magazine. You’ll find a great deal of advertising by franchisors, but magazines live by sales and ads. Franchise Times is also loaded with thoughtful articles on all aspects of franchising and it does a great job keeping insiders abreast of industry news.
Information if you’re franchising your business
Now, if you are serious about franchising a business don’t do it from a book. Yes, read all you can, but engage a professional to mentor you through the franchising process. Becoming a franchisor is risky business. It is NOT a “do-it-yourself” proposition. It can look like a self-study project at first, but there are more pitfalls than you can imagine waiting for you. Interview and choose reputable help and a quality feasibility study. And don’t ever be ‘sold’ on the idea of franchising your business by a consultant. If you run into a consultant who is pushing you to franchise, that’s your signal to run away. Be careful!
Bottom line, franchise information sources are plentiful especially in the beginning stages. But if you’re serious about getting into the franchise business in any capacity, find a mentor that you feel comfortable with, one who is looking out for your best interests. You’ll pay for knowledge and advice, but your chances for success will be exponentially increased. In other words, get hands on, reliable sources for information and guidance.