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Investing in a franchise can be a tremendous opportunity, but there’s also the risk of loss that comes with any investment. Just as you would research the market for a brand new start-up, it’s vital to investigate the franchise for its potential growth and the risk of loss. While there are many practices that you can employ in your research, making use of some common practices can help you gain a better understanding of the forecast for the project’s success.
Before you begin looking at the details of the new franchising opportunity, it’s wise to take an honest look at yourself to determine if this really is the right project for you. Taking part in a franchise is different from opening a small business of your own in that you’ll be expected to follow established methods, corporate rules, and time-tested guidelines. If you’re more interested in doing things your own way, you might be best suited for other business ventures.
Attend Franchise Expos
Once you’ve determined that this is the path for you, it will be time to get your hands dirty. One of the best methods of research available to you is to attend franchise expos and conventions. Attending these events can help you in a number of ways. First, it will give you an opportunity to network with other franchisers and gain first-hand insight into the experience of joining an established organization. Expos are also excellent ways to discover new opportunities, which you might not otherwise discover. Finally, you can meet those offering the new business ventures, which can go a long way in helping you conduct reliable franchising opportunity research.
Dig Deep Beyond Promotional Material
Every new franchising opportunity is going to be presented in the best possible light with promotional material that likely implies it’s a sure thing. Of course, any savvy business investor knows sure things don’t exist in business. The best way to get beyond the hype is to request a copy Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and to study it thoroughly. If the language is confusing to you, it may be in your best interests to consult a franchise attorney for guidance.
Ask the Hard Questions
Don’t let the business’ franchise consultant seduce you with lofty promises. Take the opportunity to ask hard-hitting questions that will address issue that will affect you, as a franchisee. For instance, ask what the company’s focus is in regard to its franchises. In response, you should hear information that lets you know the company is passionate about helping its franchisees succeed. You might also want to know what factors cause franchises to run into trouble and what resources the company offers to assist those franchise owners.
There will be many questions you will want to address, before you commit to this new franchise business opportunity. Conducting proper franchising opportunity research will help you answer these questions, either by directly questioning the company’s representatives, or by conducting research of your own. The internet can be a great wealth of information in this regard, so don’t be afraid to seek answers and insight online. Before you commit, you should know the success rates of the company’s franchise outlets, the process for resolving conflicts between the parent company and the franchisee, and the financial health of the company, overall. After you’ve gathered as much data as you can, you’ll be able to make a better informed decision about the opportunity.