But this business game can be a lot like Let’s Make A Deal unless you’re careful. If the cost rules your playing field and you fly by the seat of your pants, Door #1 might net you a fortune…or it could dump a ton of headaches on top of you.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are simple steps that will favor your chances of being happy if you decide to buy a franchise. The magazine’s Franchise 500 listing has information on the top 500 franchises as ranked by Entrepreneur. They suggest speaking with at least a half-dozen franchisees that weren’t hand-picked by that particular company. Ask what benefits and detriments the franchise has brought them. Ask how long they’ve been with that franchisor. Your best bet for solid, useful information is a seasoned store owner or manager. They have a longer history to draw from.
Then ask yourself what type of customer appeals to you. If you don’t like working with the public, for example, running a restaurant might not be wise. If you prefer working with middle-aged women, what business caters to them? Consider age, gender, income level, and other demographics when you consider your ideal customer’s background. See if you can market directly to them as you narrow the playing field.
Another great place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re interested in buying into a McDonald’s franchise, for example, check with them to see how many McDonald’s there already are in town.
And don’t overlook your hobbies and interests. If you’ve dreamed of having your own sex toys shop, see how many there are in your area and ask the franchise owners how business has treated them. If your hobby is golf, consider buying a franchise with a company like GolfTEC or Monster Mini Golf 10.
Include your own wants and needs. What makes YOU happy? Those are all things to consider when considering a franchise.