Basic Information on Buying a Franchise

If you've always wanted to own your own business, have researched what it will take, have financing in order, a business plan set, and are ready to go, have you considered buying a franchise? Buying a franchise takes some of the work out of business start-up, allowing you to focus on business growth and profits. Franchise ownership is especially good for people who have little or no experience in running a business, since in most cases, help is just around the corner. The franchise headquarters should provide you with training, a business kit which includes guidelines for selling your product or service, answers to your questions, support in all areas of your business, and more. If you are considering this option to owning your own business, we present some basic information to help you decide and get started. Read on.

What You Should Know Before Buying A Franchise

If you haven't already done this as part of your preparation for starting your own business, now is the time to take a self-evaluation. You can do this alone, but it's often helpful to sit down with someone you trust, who may see things in a different perspective than you do. Some questions to ask yourself include:
Can you (or your advisor) picture yourself running this business successfully?
Are you detail-oriented?
Are you good with people?
Would you do better with retail, service-oriented, or business-to-business situation?
Can you afford to run a business?

There are more questions you should be asking yourself. Entrepreneur.com has a list of 100 questions anyone considering going into business for themselves should see and answer, before proceeding further.

Once you've taken care of the self-evaluation survey, it's time to investigate possible franchise opportunities, benefits and down-sides.

Pro's and Con's

Some of the pro's for owning a franchise include the reduction of risk over starting your own business from scratch; your business products and services will already be well known; you'll benefit from national and local advertising campaigns; you'll have the backing of experienced sales and marketing experts; your financial and accounting systems will be laid out for you; you'll receive guidance in many areas, including financial and location. There aren't as many con's as pro's, and the con's are mostly based on the franchisor (owner of the parent company). The con's include loss of control of your business, since you'll be under the direction of the franchisor; you will be under a binding contract; and if the franchisor has problems, so will you.


As with starting any business, you will need financing in place before buying into a franchise. The first fee you'll encounter will probably be the franchise fee. This could range anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on business and profitability. This is a one-time fee that covers training, the use of their business concept and programs, learning their entire business, and ongoing help and support. Additionally, you'll pay a royalty fee based on franchise earnings, typically anywhere from 3% to 8%. You'll most likely be paying for the lease on your business property, equipment to run your new business, and money to go into the marketing pool for advertising your franchise. You'd be paying these fees on your own business anyway, other than the franchise fees, but if you check into what you'll be getting for your franchise fees, you may find the cost well worth-while. Reminder: Your other costs, including lease, equipment, supplies etc., will run you more, be sure to investigate these as you make your business plan.

Best Picks For Franchises

Here are some of the fastest-growing franchise opportunities we've found:

In food-beverage franchises, you'll find Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Cold Stone Creamery (ice cream), Super Suppers (do-it yourself meal preparation), Dominos Pizza, Papa John's Pizza, and more.

Diet/Fitness franchises include Jazzercize, Curves, Fitness Together, LA Weight Loss Centers

Tax service franchises include Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax Services, Instant Tax Services.

Real Estate franchises: Re/Max, Keller Williams, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, World Properties.

There are more possibilities in these and in other areas. Don't see what you want here? Check out Entrepreneur.com for even more possibilities.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of familiar names on the list of franchises. Perhaps you were not even aware that some of these business are available as a franchise. And there is also more information available on starting a franchise business than what we could provide here. One of the best online sites for further research is Entrepreneur.com Read through their information before making the decision to buy a franchise.

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