BY MARC KIEKENAPP | November 28, 2012
Entrepreneurship is a journey that many people dream about but very few pursue. If you are reading this article about franchise ownership you are in the top 10% of people that aspire to be their own boss and own their own business. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to third party franchise related resources that can help you gather information. These resources can help you determine if franchise ownership is right for you and your family.
When looking at a franchise opportunity, your research process can be supported by several third party agencies that assist you in gathering fair and honest information about the franchise industry, financing, and legal advice. There are also third party franchise broker networks that represent several brands and are not limited to only offering one franchise brand. This is a benefit to you if you can develop a professional relationship with a broker that has your best interest in mind.
SBA: Small Business Administration
The SBA is a government agency that offers information relating to small business ownership. If you are looking for third party financing, the SBA can provide government guaranteed financing to help fund a franchise business or start-up business venture. Today, regardless of where you live, most banks will take advantage of SBA backing when issuing financing to individuals. The SBA is also a great source of information utilizing a staff of retired business owners that will assist you in your quest to buy a franchise. Further, they will offer their expertise with the implementation of a viable business plan and marketing plan for your business. An SBA presence is available in your community with a SCORE Chapter, Small Biz Development Center or Women’s Biz Center. Go to: (www.sba.gov) to get more detailed information on how to finance a franchise using the Small Business Administration.
IFA: International Franchise Association
The IFA has been representing franchising for more than 50 years. Under their leadership, IFA franchise members display the highest level of professionalism in business. If you are looking for credible and factual information as it relates to franchising visit the IFA’s official website, www.franchise.org. This site is one of the best resources for franchise research including the current economic outlook on franchising, minority and veteran ownership, small business lending, sector growth and development and so much more.
Franchise Broker Networks:
There are several franchise broker networks that have been hired by franchise companies to assist them in finding franchisees that are a good match for their franchise concept. These broker networks can represent anywhere from 30-50 franchises including home based franchises, mobile franchises, retail based franchise, automotive and food franchises and more. A consultant from the broker network will work with you to learn what types of franchise opportunities gather your interest and fit your financial budget. They should provide you with a profile or personality test that will assist them in referring you to multiple franchise companies. Further, they will work with you to eliminate franchise opportunities that are not a good fit logistically or otherwise.
No matter which franchise you choose you should make sure to use all the resources that are available today through the Internet and with your local SBA agencies. Due diligence is an important step to being a successful franchisee. Choosing the franchise that fits your needs will prove to be a smoother route to achieving your financial and personal goals.