1. Scope out the LocationWhere will the franchise be located? Spend some time talking to other business owners in the area to see if you can get any information about how business is, especially if there are businesses similar to the franchise you'll be opening. A franchisor is going to tell you that the area where the franchise is located is a prime spot for the business and that it is going to be successful. Most franchisors are not going to tell you the location is not a good one for business. Now, keep in mind, a franchisor wants you to be successful, so they will have made efforts to ensure the location of your franchise is a good one. It doesn't hurt to get additional information from local business owners.
2. Talk to the FranchisorThis is obvious, but spend a lot of time talking to the franchisor before you make any investment. Compile a list of specific questions and ask them. Don't move on until you have answers you're satisfied with, and don't be afraid to ask for documentation to back up claims.
3. The Internet is Your FriendIn today's world, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. The Internet is full of information. That's why it's so important a company keeps a good name. It doesn't take long for word to get around on the Internet, so if the franchise you're considering has a bad reputation, there will be plenty of people talking about it online. One important thing to remember, however, is to take into account the source of the information. Weigh it for validity and to make sure there is ample evidence to back up any negatives said about the franchise. It's just as easy for a disgruntled employee or a franchisee who couldn't operate a business to say negatives that aren't true.
4. Talk to Other FranchiseesGet on the phone or use the Internet to contact others who are operating the same franchise you want to purchase. Take a sample from different states and ask questions about the franchise. Find out how much support the franchisor gives their franchisees, how successful the franchise is, and whether others who have purchased the franchise would recommend it. Frustrated franchisees are very likely going to be more than happy to let you know where a franchise falls short. Happy franchisees will likely encourage you.
5. Talk to CustomersTalk to a franchise's customers. These could be your customers. Ask them what they like about the franchise and what they don't like. It's important to know you want to purchase a franchise that people will be using. It doesn't matter if you are purchasing a restaurant franchise, a healthcare franchise, a cleaning franchise, or an entertainment franchise, the customers are what matter. Find out who your potential customers are, consider how they feel about the franchise you want to purchase, and take their words seriously.
Bonus # 1Always check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Sometimes this is a fast and easy way to get the job done. A lot of complaints with the BBB is a red flag. Of course, just because there are no complaints, that doesn't mean a franchise is on the level, but a bunch of complaints will surely mean you need to further investigate.
Bonus #2Start Your Search for the perfect franchise opportunity at All USA Franchises if you're ready to make your drams happen. While you're there, check out some of our All USA Franchises blogs for more information and great advice on finding great franchise opportunities.