Franchise Success in Smaller Packages

oday, it seems most of the attention surrounding franchising relates to The Franchise 500 list of franchises or household franchise brands like Subway, McDonalds, Jimmy John’s, Anytime Fitness and Pizza Hut to name just a few. Because of that, most aspiring entrepreneurs across America, if asked to name more than 10 franchise companies, simply cannot.

Truth is, while there are more than 3,000 franchise companies and more than 750,000 franchise establishments across America, very few franchise companies have in excess of 100 franchise units. McDonald’s leads the pack with roughly 36,000 units, followed by 7-Eleven, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Liberty Tax Service, to name only a few. This is precisely why so few people can name more than 10 franchise brands at a moments notice.

Find a Franchise

Finding a franchise that has all the success characteristics of a top franchise brand is not that easy. Most people don’t know where to start or what to look for.

Where Do You Start?

Often times people look to their past in an attempt to do something they know best. If you’ve enjoyed your career and love what you do, but want to be your own boss, then, yes, give that industry some consideration. It’s more than just having the skill set. You have to have a passion for your business to make it a great success.

Popular Franchise Industries 2016

1. Quick Service Food Franchises – small business franchises like Lenny’s Sub Shop Franchise – liquid cash required: $50,000 orBlue Coast Burrito – liquid cash required: $75,000 and Ebert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop – liquid cash required: $50,000

2. Service based Franchises – low cost and often homebased and scalable.

3. Child-related Franchises – if you love kids and being around kids everyday, they’re a many franchise models to fit any budget.

4. Non-medical home care franchises – Synergy Home Care – liquid cash required: $50,000ComForCare Home Care – liquid cash required: $50,000 and Visiting Angels – liquid cash required: $50,000

5. Travel/Cruise opportunities – work from home and reap some travel benefits.

What to Look For?

Most top franchise brands have a proven formula for success. Initially, they all started with a business plan and in most cases that plan has been revised multiples of times. What they thought would work, failed. Or, what they thought would be popular was not. It takes time to find the right product, a niche service or a tried and true method or operating system that sets your company apart from the rest. McDonald’s wasn’t perfect in the beginning and franchise concepts like Little Caesars have had their ups and downs. In fact, almost every franchise business has growing pains.

When you’re validating a small business franchise, look to the current franchise owners for the best feedback. You cannot take this lightly. You’ve got to find a way to establish a relationship with as many current franchise owners as you can. Ease into the hardest questions with a softer approach. Be patient and respectful of their time and their paranoia. Not everyone likes people asking about their business and their finances. For greater detail into buying your first franchise, preview How To Prepare To Buy Your First Franchise.

Low Turn-over rate

The best franchises have the smallest amount of turnover. Franchisees leaving the system for a variety of reasons is a red flag. You’ll find this information in Item 20 of the Franchise Disclosure Document, (FDD). If you can find a franchise system with a product or service you have a passion for, happy franchisees, good locations available where you live and a turn over ratio of less than 5%, then give it a good hard look.


Let’s face it if you’re partnered with Warren Buffet, you’ve got a pretty good chance to succeed. Take a deep look at the backgrounds of the CEO, CFO, and top management of any franchise system you are considering. Do they have a history of success in franchising? Is this their first go around with a franchise business? If so, it doesn’t mean they won’t be a wild success but it does add to the risk you’re taking.

At Discovery Day, sit down with those people you’re going to be dealing with every day. Make sure you like them and can communicate with them in a meaningful way. They will be the life blood of your business. Build a relationship right now with the guy that helps you get what you need for your business. If you can’t get along with this guy, do not move forward with this concept. You’ll find another.

Unique Product Or Service

You have got to affiliate with a franchise company that has a product or service that sets them apart from everybody else. It might be a better hamburger or home made ice cream that people will drive across town to get. It might be a quality window covering or blind that can be installed in a week at a 50% discount to the competition. Whatever it is, it must be unique to have sustainability. Don’t take this lightly.

You can find franchise success in a small package. Know yourself, know your community and your target market. Find a management team you have confidence in and you truly like. Be proud of the product or service you are selling and have a passion for what you’re about to do. Get busy being your own boss today!

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