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researching franchise options

7 Tips for Researching Franchise Options for Your Next Big Opportunity

If you’re starting to research franchise options, you are starting on the journey to being in business for yourself but not by yourself. This is an exciting time, and be sure to enjoy learning everything you can about your new career. That being said, there is a lot to learn about investing in a franchise, especially for beginners who have never owned a business before. That’s why we spend the time to create this handy guide of 7 tips for researching your next big opportunity!

Read through these tips to find out what you need to learn before you start an exciting career in franchising!

#1 List What You Want from a Franchise

Are you looking into franchising because you are sick of your current job? Do you want to work in a specific industry? Are you looking for scheduling flexibility so you never have to miss another soccer game or morning school drop off?

Make a list of what you hope to accomplish as a franchise owner—both in your personal life and your professional life—and then find a franchise opportunity that fits that list of criteria. Following this advice is the simplest way to ensure that you are choosing an investment that meets your goals and keeps you satisfied.

#2 Download Free Information

Get started by reading everything you can about the brand on their website and blog. Once you have done that, start downloading the free information that is available to you—things like franchise brochures, educational ebooks, and information about the various opportunities available. These materials will give you an in-depth look at the brand, helping you decide whether or not to go to the next steps.

#3 Learn Your Market

Owning your own business is an exciting career prospect, and before you get started get to know the market in which your business will operate. You may have lived in your community for years, but that is not the same as owning a business there, so take the time to learn what makes your market tick.

These are just some of the things to learn about your market:

  1. Demographics and economic information
  2. Traffic patterns in areas you are interested in
  3. Businesses in the same or similar industries that you are pursuing
  4. Potential competition’s strengths and weaknesses
  5. Local resources for business owners

#4 Understand the Franchise Disclosure Document

The Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD, is chock full of information that will help make your research simple. Financial background, brand history, and contact information for other franchisees are all available in the FDD, and can give you the knowledge you need to make your decision.

#5 Ask Questions About Franchise Options

At some point during your research process, you will be able to speak with a representative of the company to get your questions answered. Take advantage of this time! Asking questions—no matter how silly you think they might be—is the best way to get the information you are looking for.

Here are some sample questions to ask:

  1. Who works well with your brand?
  2. What is the franchisor’s top focus?
  3. What skills work well with this opportunity?
  4. How do franchisees resolve conflicts?

#6 Talk to Franchisees

Asking the franchisor representative questions is incredibly important, but equally important is interviewing franchisees. Ask them about what they have learned, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they prepared themselves for ownership. If possible, shadow a franchisee for a day to truly get a feel for what a day in your life as a franchise owner will entail.

#7 Become Acquainted with the Investment

It goes without saying that understanding your total investment before you sign on the dotted line is paramount. Know the franchise fee, how much working capital you will need for the first few months, how long before you can expect to earn money, and more help you plan. Knowing what to expect financially keeps you content and minimizes surprises as you go through the franchising process.

Since 1991, Pretzelmaker has been serving fresh, gourmet soft pretzels to our customers and amazing franchise opportunities to our owners. Investing in a Pretzelmaker franchise allows you to benefit from our decades of experience that sets us apart in the industry. Learn more about our franchise opportunity by getting in touch with us!