In today’s post, we assess the value and drawbacks of 3 common ways prospective business owners go about finding and researching franchise opportunities.
- General online research. Googling “franchise opportunities” gets a lot of hits – about 4,890,000 in 0.65 seconds, to be exact – but what does that really do for you? Sure, there’s a lot of material to work with, but how are you supposed to know where to begin? What separates the facts from the filler? Herein lies the real challenge of general, independent online research.
Review sites can be helpful, but not all communities are created equal. Some review sites have effective moderation and community members who are loyal, objective, and take pride in their work informing purchase decisions; others are “Wild West” style wastelands cluttered up by bots, scammers, and shills trying to paint their product or service in a positive light. Furthermore, review sites are usually too “all-purpose” to provide much in terms of deep industry insights about the franchises you’re trying to research. Like most online resources, review sites can be useful supplementary material, but they should never be treated as authoritative.
Franchise association archives can be helpful, but they sometimes serve as little more than portals to franchisor websites, which are usually not great starting points, at least when you’re trying to decide between brands within the same industry. While franchisor websites can yield some useful information on market opportunities, reasons to get involved in a particular sector, and start-up costs for comparison down the line, they can’t be trusted to tell you which brands are better. If that is your approach, you’re basically working on the basis of first come, first serve; every franchisor’s website is going to tell you they’re a leading brand in their industry, so whichever site you land on first will get your business.
The reality is that independent online research should really just be treated as a jumping off point. Use the internet in the early stages of your search to help you narrow down careers and opportunities that may interest you. Keep track of the names of franchise associations, franchise advisers, and specific brands that you want to look deeper into down the line.
- Attend franchise conferences and events. Large trade shows and conferences are excellent places to gather information on franchise opportunities in your area. Franchise advisers, entrepreneurs, as well as current and former franchisees, attend these events, which gives newcomers plenty of chances for productive networking and reconnaissance. We recommend asking current and past franchisees about their experiences with the franchise system while making sure to factor in the state of their current relationship with the brand. Compare their answers to get a well-rounded picture of life as a franchisee. Talk with a franchise adviser if you spot one; their services are usually free, and they will be able to offer concrete, relevant, and objective information on specific brand opportunities.
- Meet with franchise consultants. Working with a franchise adviser is one of the best ways to enlighten your franchise research. It’s a lot like working with a real estate broker; the seller pays the fee, and you benefit from free advice that is high-quality and customized to your specific search criteria. Since the franchisors are paying for quality candidates, consultants cannot simply match prospects at random to collect fees. In this way, the system is set up to where everybody wins – the franchisor gets a quality candidate, the prospective franchisee gets quality advice and recommendations based on their custom profile, and the franchise adviser gets paid for a job well done.
You can find additional resources to help find and research franchise opportunities at http://www.frannet.ca.
About FranNet Canada
FranNet is a 29-year-old company with roots in the U.S. Its purpose being to nurture every entrepreneur’s dream of business ownership. We actively employ a specific profiling and consultation method. This method is geared to each investor with a specific business model and based on franchise trends typically found in Toronto, Ontario, Vancouver, British Columbia, or Calgary, Alberta. The most lucrative Canadian franchise opportunities are waiting for you. For more details visit – http://frannet.ca/buy-a-franchise/canada-franchise-buying-process/