Know yourself to find the best franchises

Thinking choicesWhat are the best franchises to get into? There are many choices. Once you’ve found that you’re the kind of person who can succeed in a franchise, how do you find the best franchises to fit your business interests? Begin by examining the following criteria.

Your goals. First, ask yourself why you want to get into a franchise business. What are your goals? Are you looking to make money with a hobby, such as carpentry or something else you love? Are you building your savings for retirement, or want to increase your income after retiring from another career? The best franchises can help you reach those objectives.

Also consider your long-term expectations from the franchise. Do you want to have multiple franchise operations in different markets or industries? Will you build your franchise, sell it in a few years and move onto something else? Or do you plan to pass it onto your children? The best franchises for you are those that empower you to reach your goals.

Then think about the role you see yourself playing. Will you be a hands-on operator, the chief salesperson or a backroom administrator? Another alternative is the absentee owner or semi-absentee operator. If you have several locations or own more than one kind of franchise, this might describe your management style.

Not every franchise business is suited to an absentee owner, though, so keep this in mind when you’re choosing the best franchises for you.

Yourself. Everyone has a different idea of the factors that create the best franchises. What is your personal management style? Are you the kind of person who thrives on talking with customers? Do you shine in meetings with employees? Or do you prefer to communicate by telephone or online? The answers to these questions should determine the day-to-day role you’ll play in the franchise, as well as the kind of franchise you’ll succeed in.

Explore the business skills you bring to the table. You might be good at business management, bookkeeping or managing cash flow and inventory. Or you might be skilled at managing employees. Ask yourself whether you have experience in the sector the franchise is in. Will you need to get some education or training in some of those crucial business management skills?

On the other hand, you might be more technically oriented with experience and skills in the operation of the business. For example, a chef or trained professional cook might think about getting into a food-service franchise. Again, these focus areas link back to your objectives for getting into a franchise in the first place.

Your money. How much money do you need to be successful in your franchise operation? If you’re looking at this as a full-time job to build equity for your retirement, that amount will be quite different than the investment by someone who’s looking for something to do post-retirement. Different franchise operations and different sectors offer very different returns on investment.

Additionally, how much financing do you have? What level of cash do you have on hand, and how much can you borrow? Consider whether you will be able to raise funds from a bank or will need a Small Business Administration loan. The SBA loan application is quite long and time-consuming, a fact applicants should consider before moving forward.

Consider alternative forms of raising capital, such as crowd-sourcing. The costs can be higher, but the terms can also be more flexible.

Your choices. Once you have a clear picture of what you can bring to the franchise table, start looking around at choices. What kind of business or industry do you want to be in? If you see yourself as someone with technical or industry-related skills to offer, you might want to choose a particular industry. If you’re good with people, you might consider retail or personal-service franchises.

The next step. Now that you know yourself, your best role in the operation and the kind of business you’re suited, it’s time to start narrowing your choices for the best franchises. If you’re ready to take the next step, the team at Your Franchise Success is standing by to lend a helping hand.