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How to Choose the Right Franchise Opportunity for You

There are several factors franchisee candidates need to keep in mind when choosing a franchise concept, including their long-term goals, the business’s work-life requirements and the brand’s company culture.

Buying a franchise business is, more often than not, the single most significant investment an individual will make in their lifetime. And with so many different concepts out there, finding the ideal franchise can feel like a near-impossible task. But with the right preparation and an understanding of the process, entrepreneurs can be sure to narrow down their options and eventually find the perfect franchise fit for their individual goals. 

Before jumping into the research phase, franchisee candidates should take the time to look in the mirror and outline what they hope to achieve with their franchise business. If they are looking to essentially buy a job with flexible lifestyle benefits, they may want to only look for concepts that lend themselves to hands-on ownership. If they want to build generational wealth and eventually exit the business, they may look for concepts that lend themselves to scalable, multi-unit growth. These questions can help candidates narrow down the type of franchises they would like to focus on so they can make a more thoughtful decision.

“Most people are getting into franchise ownership to find that freedom and to take control of their destiny as their own boss,” said Franchise Captain founder Corey Elias. “Candidates need to do their research to ensure the concept is going to bring them satisfaction in that regard.” 

Once candidates understand their long-term goals, they can start the due diligence process and hire a qualified franchise broker to help them analyze the strength of individual franchise concepts. 

Home Clean Heroes* franchisee David Houck originally joined the residential cleaning brand in June 2021 after a decade in the banking industry. When it comes to finding the right concept, Houck says his approach was very analytical, and he recommends first-time candidates create a list of what qualities they need in the business before diving into their research. 

“I created an Excel spreadsheet and divided all attributes into three categories: must-have, important and not-so-important,” Houck said. “I had probably ten must-have characteristics of the business, including strong onboarding training, ongoing support and details in every aspect of the marketing. I just kept going down the list, and Home Clean Heroes checked every box.” 

One of the most important factors is the level of investment necessary for a particular brand. If prospective franchisees don’t have the specified amount of liquid capital outlined in 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. 

“The investment level is very important — candidates have to look at a concept based on their personal finances,” said Houck. “If you can afford a McDonald’s from a budget standpoint, then you have a lot of options, but there are also a lot of options for those working with a shoestring budget.”

Beyond their individual role in the business, franchisee candidates should also ensure they connect with the company culture of the brand and the overall vision. “What a lot of clients don’t realize is that franchising is a partnership — they really need to keep that in mind,” said Elias. “One of the first goals should be creating a long-term partnership with the franchisor. As they go through the due diligence to ensure the franchise is a good business model and system, they also need to be feeling like it will be a partnership.”

By keeping all of these factors in mind, entrepreneurs will be better prepared to tackle the complex but rewarding process of choosing the right franchise. If everything goes smoothly and the franchisor and franchisee make an ideal match, franchising should provide entrepreneurs with a clear path to operating a successful business and achieving their long-term goals.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.