How will you know which one is right for you? Besides cost and location, you also need to know a few things about yourself, what you like to do and what financial and human resources you have available. See the article, “Narrowing Your List of Franchises” for more helpful information. You can also use the Search for Franchises tool to the left of this article to find out more about different industries and the types of businesses, or franchise concepts, available.
To get started, choose two to three industry categories, such as casual dining franchise, automotive franchise, cleaning franchise, healthcare or senior care franchise. Within each category, choose one to three concepts or companies from which to request information. If you're using the FranchisesForSale.com search tool, use the "contact me" button to request information.
If you still don't see what you like, go back to the categories again and choose some more. This way, you won't be inundated all at once with information, 90% of which does not appeal to you. The companies will receive your requests immediately. They will match you with a representative, and you should receive information back from them in a week by e-mail and/or telephone.
This document, required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), helps you understand the franchise model, fees, and commitments in the Franchise Agreement. (The Franchise Agreement is in Step 7.) The FDD is the legal document that defines the relationship between the Franchisee and the Franchisor.
The FDD can be over 200 pages long. Don't be afraid; but do read it. Start with the sections that interest you. That may be the fees, restrictions, training, advertising, hours of operation, etc. You'll want to know what your obligation will be, and what the franchisor will and will not provide.
One of the major benefits of being a franchisee business owner is that someone else has done the ground work for you. They have created the concept, researched the market, developed the product and service offerings, and are willing to share their trade secrets, marketing and training programs with you. For a fee.
The Franchisor should provide you with a detailed outline of the kind of support, both operational and marketing, and training you can expect. They may provide onsite training at your location, or you may have to travel to them for it. Some have detailed advertising and marketing support, some provide only online and phone support. Know what you are comfortable with and how much support you think you will need.
We are about to get down to business. You will have an in-depth conversation or interview with your Franchisor Representative (from Step 2). Together you will review the FDD and discuss available territory. This is your opportunity to go through the FDD section by section and ask any questions that may have come up in the process of exploring the franchise business opportunity.
Keep in mind that while you are evaluating how a particular franchise concept fits your needs, the Franchisor is comparing you to their “ideal candidate” profile. Preparing helps. Use the Franchise Interview Questions to help you get an edge on being selected as a candidate for the franchise award.
Congratulations! If all goes well, this is the final step in the mutual evaluation process before being awarded the franchise business. This is the day you sign the Franchise Agreement and meet department heads and key executives who will work closely with you as a franchisee. Now you’re in business – you own a franchise!