Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Everyone dreams of owning their own business. "Firing their boss," "breaking through the glass ceiling," "earning what they're worth," "building an equity," and "taking charge of their financial future," are all motivations commonly cited by people as they begin their search.

Today, among the millions of unemployed, many are still dreaming of finding another job, while those over 50 are discovering that nobody's hiring older workers! The smart ones are now looking at franchising as a way to get productive now... rather than waiting on the economy to improve.

Unfortunately, many never achieve their goal of getting a new or better job and spend their careers in unfulfilling positions. They, and their families, suffer when their unhappiness and low income impacts the relationships they have with their spouse and children. I meet many of these searchers in their early stages and try to make them understand that the job of finding the right venture is a tough, time-consuming task. Just as finding an outstanding managerial job takes weeks to complete--reviewing franchisors' websites, marketing brochures, talking with salesmen and researching franchise opportunities takes weeks of dedicated study. Have you begun investing 10 hours a week to the project? (If you're unemployed, it should be 40 hours.)

Too often, franchise buyers postpone making a decision, waiting to find the "perfect" business for them. Those that take the same approach to house hunting spend their lives in apartments. Very few things in life are perfect! When we're buying a home, we may trade off the spacious family room in one house for the better school system associated with another. Similar concessions must be made when reviewing business ventures.

You need to get started on your entrepreneurial path NOW! Solve your financial needs and start building an equity today! DON'T expect to find the best business in the world for you--in all probability it will not be the only company you ever own. Most people run the same business for only 5 or 7 years and then hire a manager or sell it and move on to something bigger or more challenging.

Are you frozen at "home plate" just watching ads whiz by? Pick up the phone and call 5 to 10 companies for their marketing materials. (You've made it to first base.) Choose the three that you think will best fit your needs and fill out and submit the company's "Qualification Form." (This will open discussions with a sales representative and places you firmly on second base.) Now continue your research by closely reviewing the Franchise Disclosure Documents sent to you, and visiting or calling as many franchisees as is reasonable. If you're gaining a comfort level, you're rounding third and should have an attorney or accountant review the agreement to be sure you fully understand it. When you've made the commitment to sign the license, join the franchise network and begin your entrepreneurial career, you've made it to home plate! The crowd (or at least your family and friends) are cheering, and you're on your way to stardom!

Often you'll have to repeat these steps because you get "stranded" on second or third base. But reading ads in a magazine and looking a dozens of franchisors' web sites is no way to seriously approach the task!! Good Luck!!

If you're searching for the perfect franchise for you, we encourage you to check out The Franchise Doctor's offerings.

Our survey of your innate talents can help you find the niche where you'll be most successful, it's called the FranchiseFit Entrepreneurial Survey. A ten minute quiz could change your life!

Are the Franchising Fees Worth It?

{In this section we answer questions commonly posed by franchise buyers. To submit a Query, please E-Mail us.}

Q. Does it really make sense to pay Licensing Fees and Royalties to a franchisor versus starting a new business independently?

A. Studies show that almost 50% of all consumer purchases are made through franchisees. Less than 5% of all US businesses are franchisees. That reflects a 10 to 1 ratio!! Obviously, franchised companies are outperforming their independent competitors. Given the fact that many franchisors arrange group discounts for inventory, equipment, and advertising, it seems obvious that the amount of money available to the franchise owner (even after royalty payments) exceeds the dollars available to independents in the same industry. Naturally, the savvy buyer must verify that these statistics apply in the system you're evaluating.

If you had taken the great risk encountered by the Franchisor and made the costly errors most start-ups encounter, you could avoid the expenses involved with franchising. Yet the dollars lost by experimenting without a proven business plan may well exceed the fees franchisors charge. Don't get caught in the "perfect world" syndrome, wishing that you could enjoy the high sales, low risks, and reduced costs of franchisees, yet not having to pay for these benefits.


Finding the franchise that's right for you is a difficult task--just as time consuming as finding a job. When you uncover a company that sounds intriguing, ask for their marketing package. If what you read, spurs your interest or raises questions, call the franchisor or fill in the qualification sheet. Often a buyer will draw an incorrect conclusion about some aspect of the venture and therefore reject the opportunity. Every franchisor will be happy to explain their operation--if you call or write. Don't fear a "high-pressure" salesman. If you simply say "I'm no longer interested in your company," they will stop calling.

Your business venture will not find you! If you truly want to succeed, you must take the initiative and do your homework diligently, until you've found the company that meets your needs.

Please feel free to E-Mail any Questions or Comments.