I am often asked by individuals who are looking to buy a franchise, what are the best franchises? Unfortunately, this is not a question that I am able to answer. However, I can direct them to resources to help them narrow down the list and then come back to me to assist with the evaluation of the franchise they have selected. Some of those resources are discussed in this post.
The first resource of anyone looking to find a franchise should be the IFA (International Franchise Association). This is a recognized resource for anyone interested in any aspect of franchising. The website for the IFA is www.franchise.org. The IFA has lists of member franchise systems that anyone can access. In addition, they hold exhibitions at various times around the United States in which franchisors and other franchise related vendors exhibit to prospective franchisees. These conventions are a wonderful opportunity for prospective franchisees to get a first feel for a franchise they may want to invest in. In addition, the IFA has many education resources available to anyone in the franchise industry.
Another important resource is franchise brokers or consultants. These individuals have a pool of franchise systems with which they work and from which their fees are paid. Typically the consultants/brokers have forms that a prospective franchisee will complete that will give them information about the individual’s financial situation, business background and experience, education, etc. Based on the questionnaire and other methods, the broker/consultant will match the prospect with various franchise systems and recommend that the prospect research each of the opportunities. These brokers/consultants are paid by the franchisor, so typically there are no fees to the prospective franchisee.
Another resource available is Blue Mau Mau’s franchise directory (http://www.bluemaumau.org/franchise_directory). This is a fabulous resource of listings of over 2400 franchisors according to their website. There are several ways to search for franchisors, including alphabetical, by name, category and sub-category, etc. From this site a prospective franchisee can learn more by going to the franchisor’s website or contacting the franchisor for more information.
I don’t believe that there is only one “best” franchise. Even the best franchises are investments that depend on many factors such as the business abilities of the franchisee, the time, money and effort committed by the franchisee to the business, the location, the economy, etc. It is important to do your research, perform all the due diligence, spend time in the business, learn about the senior people working for the franchisor, and have an experienced attorney to assist you in evaluating the opportunity.