Choosing the Right Franchise

Balancing Lifestyle With A Top Performing Franchise System

BY MARC KIEKENAPP | July 30, 2012

When searching for the right franchise for you and your family it is important to take the time to understand what you are looking for in a franchise concept and how it will work with your family commitments and goals.

The investment level and return on investment is usually the starting point of your search. It is important not to overreach with your initial investment and always be conservative when estimating your breakeven point and profits. The best franchise for you may be completely different from some of the other top franchises another investor might choose.

Over zealous franchise seekers always seem to take on more territory or additional units on their first venture into the franchise industry. Granted some of the most profitable franchises work better as a multiple unit model, but if this is your first entry into business or franchising I suggest you walk before you run.

Taking your lifestyle needs into your buying decision is very important. I’ve heard several professionals looking at franchise systems say they are willing to give up the boat, the country club, sell the cars and be committed to having the funding needed to buy one of the top franchise opportunities. In most cases you shouldn’t think about taking a step backwards but researching franchise opportunities that are within your financial comfort zone.

Let discuss 3 top franchise categories and how they may affect your lifestyle and income potential.

Home Based Franchises:

Home-based franchises generally are operated 5-6 days a week. Some of the best franchises can be home based and also be considered a low cost franchise for your first entry into the franchising world. Home-based franchises require that your home environment is suitable to operate out of your home.

Some considerations to take into account are:

1. Do you have a dedicated space to be able to remove yourself from everyday household distractions.

2. If vehicles are involved can you park branded cars or trucks in your subdivision.

3. Most importantly you must have a tremendous desire to go out and see customers. Most home-based businesses do not conduct business while in the home but at the place of business or home of their customers.

Home Service Franchises:

Home service franchises are generally operated 5-6 days a week. Generally they don’t take a “super salesperson” to be successful. Customer acquisition is usually through direct marketing efforts delivered to your customer base requesting the franchise owner come into their place of business or home to provide them with a quote for services. This is more of an educational process on how you can serve their needs better than the current company they are using. Marketing is an important driver of this business. Service business certainly allow you the opportunity to build in middle management to take care of everyday operations and is a favorite with franchise buyers to involve additional family members in the business.


Retail Franchises are one of the most common franchises that candidates start with during the initial phases of research. Retail franchise opportunities require 7 days a week in most cases. Finding the right location is critical to owning a retail operation and in some cases you’ll find the best location in a “Retail Mall” or a retail super center. Site location can take a long period of time and patience is critical to select the correct location. It can take a minimum of 6 months and as long as a year to locate the franchise concept in the best possible location. As a prospect for a retail franchise you must have the staying power to work through the site location process and be prepared to pay “high” lease acquisition costs. Expensive leases are a “plus” because the success of a retail franchise is location, location, location. It is important to have superior management and hiring skills so you as the owner do not have to spend long hours in the location.

When you become involved in your new venture the family dynamics are affected and it is very important you and your family will understand the time commitments that will be involved. Have a family meeting and establish the groundwork that will lead to a complete understanding of your family support component. Without family support your venture into business will be much more challenging.

Marc A. Kiekenapp

*Marc Kiekenapp is Founder and CEO of Kiekenapp & Associates, LLC, a National Franchise Consulting Firm assisting franchisors in qualification and selection process of quality candidate ideally suited for the franchise concept. Marc has over 30 years of franchise experience. He has been a master licensee, owned and operated multiple national franchise units as a franchisee. In the spring of 2000 Marc was recognized as one of the top three franchise executives by Franchise Update Magazine. With over thirty years of experience in franchising, Marc is requested as a frequent guest speaker on franchise development topics for the International Franchise Association, Franchise Update Magazine, The Restaurant Finance national convention, and franchisor national conventions. Mr. Kiekenapp is currently serving on the IFA Supplier forum board and is active in many aspects with the International Franchise Association. Marc has assisted thousands of franchise seekers to find a business that meets their financial and family goals by matching the skill levels and financial capabilities with the correct franchise system. When not pursuing the franchise industry, he is an avid golfer and enjoys flyfishing and tennis.

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