Be smart. Get the right help buying a franchise.

QUESTION: My wife and I have been franchise shopping for several months and it seems like the longer we look the more confused we are. Is this a common problem?

First, your problem is the most common one found among ALL franchise buyers and we’ll give you the reasons it’s true. Getting competent help buying a franchise is obviously wise in our opinion – it’s part of our consulting practice – but beyond the fact that we believe in it, buyers normally reach that conclusion once the smoke and mirrors are removed. Consider the following points.

  1. Franchising is a huge industry. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of franchised units operating in the North America, those units represent roughly 100 different types of businesses (pizza, printing, cosmetics, pets, bookkeeping, etc.) and those different categories have multiple brand names. That’s the first level of confusion and it alone should be an incentive to get help buying a franchise.
  2. Franchising is a salesman’s dream. Too many people buy franchises because they see their dream in the concept and who’s better at weaving that dream than the bright, articulate salesperson representing it? Keeping the lines clear between reality and dreamland is reason enough to get help buying a franchise. But let’s uncover the greatest reasons (#3 & 4) of all for confusion.
  3. The vast majority of buyers don’t begin their search with a firm knowledge of who they are and what best fits their style. Indeed, we don’t approach many of life’s big decisions with a clear knowledge of who we are and what will best complement us. Knowing who we are and what might actually work for us in business is paramount in finding the right landing zone. It all starts with a personal plan and we developed such a planning tool after years of observation and study – The Focus Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs.
  4. The last item on our critical list is franchise due diligence; an extremely difficult chore to perform because there are so many elements involved. Yes, there are the obvious items such as disclosures, contracts and financials, but how about the concept, the people and many other questions that all add up to a buy or don’t buy decision? So, mentorship is the key to knocking out the best in due diligence and personal protection.

Hope this helps.