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Finding the Right Franchise Fit: What Franchisees Look For When Buying a Franchise

The product, the vision of the franchisor and the investment level are just a few things a prospective franchisee looks at when buying a franchise.

The decision to purchase a franchise is likely one of the biggest decisions an entrepreneur will make in their lifetime. Even after one has made the decision to look into franchising, there’s a myriad of other decisions that also need to be made in order to find the right franchise fit. 

The number of decisions can sometimes feel infinite, however, there are ways to categorize what prospective franchisees are looking for — ultimately helping to make that decision just a little bit easier. 

1851 Franchise rounded up the five most common categories prospective franchisees look at when buying a franchise


The first step in deciding whether to invest in a franchise has to do with the product. According to Peter Dipasqua, multi-brand operator who is bringing fresh-pressed juice franchise Pure Green to Tampa, Florida, prospective franchisees need to believe in the product they’re going to be investing in. 

“It’s important to believe in the product or service that you’re going to be investing your money in,” Dipasqua said. “For example, as a previous multi-unit operator of Planet Fitness locations and a current multi-unit operator of Subway, investing in Pure Green just made sense. It aligns with my beliefs in health and wellness and fits in with my portfolio.” 


Similar to the product, when deciding whether to invest in a particular franchise brand, it is imperative to believe in the company’s overall vision. Investing in a franchise means investing in an already established and successful system, so it’s extremely important to embrace it — and that includes everything from the vision to the mission, people, culture and product. 

A good rule of thumb for prospective franchisees to determine if they believe in the company’s vision is to compare it with their own system of beliefs. For example, they can ask themselves, “Do I agree with the brand’s goals? Do I see myself being a valuable part of the brand’s culture? Do the company’s beliefs align with my own?”


One of the most important factors is the level of investment necessary to become a particular brand’s franchisee. If prospective franchisees don’t have the specified amount of liquid capital outlined in the Item 19 of the brand’s FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document), they must ask themselves how much they are willing to borrow and research the timeline on the return-on-investment for that specific brand. 

Luckily, there are a few different loan options available to franchisees. However, it’s critical to figure out which loan options best fit with the lifestyle and the business of the prospect. Dipasqua advised that prospective franchisees understand all of the numbers associated with each of the franchises they’re looking at. “A lower start-up cost can also be beneficial as that could mean a faster ROI,” he said. 


This may seem obvious, but one of the most important things to consider when investing in a franchise is whether the concept fits the desired market. Franchisees should strive to be in a market they are familiar with. However, it has to make sense for the brand. It is essential to ensure the concept is located somewhere that aligns with the your target demographics. If prospects — along with the help of their potential franchisor — determine that their product is going to be well-received, then the discussion of how many locations can realistically be added to the territory and surrounding territories. Dipasqua noted that getting involved with a business at an early stage, like he did with Pure Green, allows for more opportunity to acquire large territories and the ability to build them out strategically in the future. 


Most franchisees will tell you how crucial validation is when deciding whether to invest in a brand. Prospective franchisees are encouraged to take advantage of the resources given to them in the FDD, specifically the Item 20, which outlines such information as a list of the brand’s current franchisees and their contact information. This is extremely valuable to prospects, as they can reach out to the current franchisees and receive validation on the brand. Honest and transparent conversations between current and prospective franchisees can help the prospective franchisee feel good about their decision, and can even make or break whether they decide to invest. In fact, Dipasqua’s most important piece of advice for those looking at investing in a franchise is to speak with and meet with everyone they can before deciding. 

“Before making a final decision, prospects need to speak with current franchisees, meet with people from corporate and visit several of the brand’s locations if they really want to get a feel for the brand and understand what it’s about,” he said.