How to Pick a Franchise Opportunity

If you have started thinking about investing in a franchise opportunity, even a small amount of research shows that there are thousands of opportunities out there. With all the industries and opportunities, how do you choose the franchise opportunity that fits you?

Ask Yourself: What Franchise Opportunity is Right for Me?

In order to determine what franchise opportunity is right for you, first you need to determine what you want from owning a business. Second, take stock of all your skills to get an idea of what kind of business might interest you. Contrary to what you might think, there is more to consider than what industries interest you.

walking the dog

Determine Your Needs

Before you start thinking about industries or brands, you need to decide what kind of life you want to live. If you are looking for a way to own your own business, you are probably interested in some kind of independence that you can’t get from working in a traditional corporate setting, but there is a lot more to it than that.

Here are some things to consider as you try to decide what you are looking for in your work:

  • What is your ultimate goal in owning a business? Do you want to earn more money? Spend more evenings at home? Have weekends off? Be able to visit your children’s school in the middle of the day? Take a spontaneous week off to go to Carnival in Brazil? Knowing what you want as far as work-life balance will narrow your options.
  • How quickly do you want to work in your business full time? Will you need time to transition from your old job, tapering off hours before committing all your time and energy to your franchise? Some franchise brands allow for absentee franchisees—that is, franchisees who hire management to take care of the day to day operations—while others want their owners working full time in the business.
  • How much are you comfortable investing? How are you planning on coming up with your investment? Franchise startup costs vary greatly, so determine this up front before you even start looking at brands to make sure you don’t fall in love with a brand that is out of your investment range.

Take Inventory of Your Skills

An essential part of finding which franchise opportunity is right for you is finding and defining your skills. Make an honest list of your strengths and weaknesses, work-related and otherwise. Most franchisors are not looking for someone with a specific work background, but with a range of skills and personality traits that fit their brand.

Some questions to ask yourself about your skills include:

  • Are you a good manager?
  • Do you understand budgets and bookkeeping?
  • Does the idea of sales make you cringe?
  • Are you a marketing genius?
  • Do you have technical skills or acumen working with your hands?
  • Does working with people make your heart sing?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with a small crew?
  • Can you easily establish rapport with coworkers or strangers?
  • Are you organized?

The good thing about taking inventory of your skills is that there are no right or wrong answers. When you have a list of your skills, you can more easily filter through franchise opportunities. You may think that the perfect franchise opportunity for you is with computers because you like technology, but choosing a franchise opportunity based on your skills has a much higher chance of success.

Frequently Asked Question: Is Previous Experience Necessary?

The short answer is not usually. Sure, there are some franchise brands that will only work with people who have already owned businesses before, or who have experience in the specific field that the franchise operates in, but this is often not the case.

One of the biggest benefits of investing in a franchise, as opposed to starting your own business, is the training and support that franchises can offer. Most franchise brands provide extensive training to their franchise owners to prepare them for owning and operating within their brand. In fact, be wary of any franchise that does not offer training and ongoing support, as you may not receive all the tools you need to operate a successful business.

Pillar To Post, for example, is a home inspection franchise that does not require any construction or renovation experience in our franchisees. We train them on everything they need to know about performing thorough home inspections, keeping the books updated, marketing to find clients, and so much more. This kind of training means that Pillar To Post franchisees do not need to have any experience owning a business in order to thrive as part of our brand.

Check out what Pillar To Post looks for in our franchisees, and see if your skills match up with our brand!