Choosing the Right Franchise

Organize Your Franchise Search

You’ve decided to go into business for yourself, and you’ve decided that franchising is the way to go. Choosing a company that has a proven business model and a winning system in place will give you that fast start you’re looking for, and you like the idea of the support a franchise business opportunity provides.

Three months later, you’ve read every piece of information you can find, talked with dozens of franchisees, printed out documents and collected FDDs and brochures till your piles of paper threaten you with physical danger, and it’s all beginning to run together in your mind. You’re no closer to making up your mind, and you’re beginning to wonder if franchising is for you or not.

If this sounds like you — or you fear that it might and want to avoid it — you need a plan for organizing your search.

  • Think about yourself, your circumstances, and your priorities first. Make yourself a chart, a spreadsheet, or a dream map collage  — it doesn’t matter what format you use, just make sure you have a realistic image of what you want.


  • As you research franchise business opportunities, keep track of where they match your perfect franchise business dream. This can be as simple as checking a box or as complex as adding detailed information on each option for later comparison.
  • Keep important data such as contact information on the same document, whether that means writing the info on the back of your collage or building it into your spreadsheet.
  • During your research, you may find additional criteria that matter to you, and you can add those factors to the chart and go back and compare the options you’ve already researched.
  • Simplify your chart as well as adding to it. For example, it looks as though franchise #3 in the same chart above may not be a good fit. It requires a higher initial investment and a higher net worth than our sample entrepreneur can swing, and it needs half a dozen workers to start, while our sample entrepreneur wants to work in a small office and have as few employees as possible. If the rest of the criteria don’t match any better than the first few we see in this chart, our sample person might want to remove this franchise from consideration.
  • Keep an open mind, though. Sometimes we start out with something in mind, but see other possibilities as we learn more. For example, this sample entrepreneur might realize that the number of employees is not a high priority — finding a franchisor with strong name recognition and aggressive marketing is more important.
  • Once you’ve done basic research on a number of options, use the chart you’ve created to compare them and narrow down the choices to a handful. These should be the options you put more time into.
  • Finish out your chart. If you fall in love with a franchise that doesn’t perform well on your chart, ask yourself why. Were you swayed by a great salesperson, did you have an emotional response to the franchise, or does it offer things that make up for its poor performance on your chart?

A systematic approach can help you avoid confusion and make the best decision.

Pending Request