In the United States, there are nearly 800,000 franchise opportunities spanning more than 100 industries. There are so many choices, deciding which concept to buy into is sometimes overwhelming. Not to worry though; you’re off to a good start seeing that you landed here at America’s Best Franchises.

Rather than sifting through thousands of franchise websites or letting franchise brochures clutter up your desktop, we want to help you uncomplicate the decision-making process. So, what’s the secret to zeroing in on the right franchise concept for you? (Here’s a hint: it’s in the title of this blog.) The answer is getting to know yourself.

Dan Martin, President and CEO of IFX, a franchise management platform, told Business News Daily, “By figuring out your actual goals, you will be able to determine what franchise is a good fit to help you meet those goals.” Once you find clarity on your personal and professional goals, it will be easier to figure out which concept works best with your lifestyle and skillset.

To help identify those goals, we put together a few questions to ask yourself:

What are Your Interests and Strengths?

Your interests and skillset play a huge role in choosing a franchise opportunity. Don’t just look at brands you know, look for models that suit your strengths. Think about the positions you’ve held in the past. What were you praised for in those positions? Those skills likely transfer to multiple industries.

America’s Best Franchises’ leader and founder, Bill Bradley says it’s important to consider day-to-day requirements. Although you’re a dog lover, franchising a grooming business may not necessarily be your ideal everyday job. He says, “Whatever your passions are, you need to decide on buying into something that you’re going to be happy to wake up to every single day.”

Do I Want to Be an Absentee Owner, Semi-Absentee Owner or Owner-Operator?

An absentee owner uses a manager-run model where they hire someone to manage day-to-day operations. This allows an absentee owner to focus on top-level growth. Keep in mind; some business concepts may require hiring more than one manager. This option is excellent for those with the working capital necessary to support a managerial staff.

Semi-absentee ownership doesn’t require a full-time commitment. While semi-absentee owners may serve as a part-time manager, they usually need working capital to hire another manager or employees to provide the end service. This option is best for people who want to keep their job but want an additional income stream.

Owner-operators take a more hands-on approach to business and expect to be involved with day-to-day operations. Owner-operators often have to get their hands dirty, but it means they don’t need as much capital to grow their business.

How Much Money Do You Have to Invest?

Franchise opportunity investment levels can range from $10,000 to upwards of $1 million or more. Taking inventory of your capital and knowing your investment budget gives you a better sense of what opportunities are available to you. Although you may already have an idea of what industry you want to franchise in, you may not be aware of the capital required to support the concept.

Some experts say low-cost franchises aren’t always worth the investment. David Omholt, president of franchise consulting firm The Entrepreneur Authority, told Inc.com, “There’s nothing more expensive than a cheap business. This probably will have a high turnover rate, will be saturated and competitive, won’t provide a lot of support and training, and won’t be a business you can resell.”

Either way, it’s important to remember that even though franchising offers less risk because you’re using a proven-to-be-profitable business model, like most other businesses, don’t expect yours to be profitable the second you open your doors. And take the time to think about how much risk you’re willing to assume.

Once you narrow it down to your top franchise opportunities, it’s time to start thinking about what to expect from a franchisor. Learn what to look out for and what questions to ask here.

SOURCEAmerica's Best Franchises
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Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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