When trying to find the right franchise for yourself, there are a few different ways you can do it. Probably the most fun way of choosing a franchise is to gather the 10 franchise logos you like the best and then put them on a board and throw a dart at them. (Note that this is also the most ineffective way of choosing one.)
If you want to choose the franchise that fits you best, though, forget the logos and darts. It can be a long and involved process that requires you to examine your own goals and what you want out of life.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved with choosing the right franchising fit for you.
1. Know Thyself
Yes, it sounds a little melodramatic when you say it like that, but you do have to know yourself when you are thinking about taking on the responsibility of opening a business. You have to know what industries interest you, whether you want to just run a one-person owner/operator operation or whether you want a full staff, how much you want the business to grow, how much you want to be involved once it gets established, etc.
It’s good to know your goals so you can choose the right franchise to help you reach those goals. Beyond just making money, your goals might include leaving a legacy for your children, retiring at a certain age or eventually being a more hands-off business owner where you just sit back and reap the rewards.
Knowing what you want out of a business and what you’re willing to put in will help you pick the right one.
2. Comprehend the Cash
You may not be able to afford the franchise that you want. It’s unfortunate, but you should be prepared for that reality. You’ve got to know how much money you can reasonably get your hands on, which will give you a “price range” for what franchises you can afford. If you would only realistically be able to cobble together about $30,000 from various loans and financing options, you will most likely be looking at opening a home-based franchise with little overhead that will be an owner/operator business until it can expand.
On the other hand, if you could realistically gather $100,000, then your options will be wide open and you would be able to entertain the idea of joining a franchise where you’ll need to build a location from scratch and have a full staff to open.
Fortunately, franchises cover the entire spectrum of businesses, from small to large, so even if you can only get your hands on a smallish amount of money, you will still have options available to you.
3. Explore Your Area
Your circumstances aren’t the only ones that count when choosing a franchise. Your region of the country might already be saturated with the franchise you are interested in joining, in which case you’ll need to consider moving or commuting to a different area or switching the franchise you want to join.
Often, it’s what is not in your region that will do well because there is no competition, but beware that the reason a certain type of business isn’t in your area might also be because people have tried it before and it just wouldn’t work in your particular part of the country.
To make your decision, it helps to know the demographics of your town or city or rural area. Does it skew young or old? What are the current trends for people moving into or out of the area? Has a particular type of business that is not represented there ever been tried? Is there room for competition if a certain type of business is already represented?
Do your research and get to know your area well.
4. Read Voraciously
In addition to researching your area, you’ll also want to research any franchises that you are interested in joining. Hit up the internet machine and look for as much on the business as you can. You want to know how much support and freedom they offer their franchisees, if they’ve ever been in any court cases, if they’ve ever filed for bankruptcy, if there are any complaints against them from franchisees, etc.
If there is a pattern of misdeeds on their part, consider that a red flag. The vast majority of franchises are good businesses, but there are a few proverbial bad apples out there. They’re pretty easy to spot, though. Just do your reading and you should be fine.
Note that when you join a franchise, much of this information is provided to you by law and you’ll be able to do more in-depth research at that stage.
5. Meet and Greet
Before you join a franchise, you will have a preliminary meeting with the franchise’s representatives to see if you are a good fit for them and vice versa. Ask questions and listen to what the franchise has to say and answer their questions for you as thoroughly as you can.
While it’s a long process with a lot of homework, you can speed up the process dramatically and give the bulk of that research to someone else when you work with a franchise broker like FranNet. Sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today and let us help you on your way to Canadian business ownership.