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Choosing a Franchise That Matches Your Business Goals
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By: Arlette Measures
Questions to Ask When Comparing Franchising Providers

There are many ways to find franchise opportunities. Some franchisors have websites with information about their franchise. Franchise expositions are another good source of information. Attending a franchise exposition allows you to see and compare a variety of franchise possibilities under one roof.

Before you attend, research the kind of franchise that may best suit your budget, experience, and goals. When you attend, visit several franchise exhibitors who deal with the type of industry that appeals to you. Consider questions such as:

Name and brand recognition for the company and its product or service
 Does the company have a registered trademark?
 What is the company’s reputation is for quality products or services?
 Have consumers filed complaints against the franchise with the Better Business Bureau or a local consumer protection agency?
 How long has the franchisor managed a franchise system?
 Does the franchisor have enough expertise to make you feel comfortable? If the franchisor has
little experience managing a chain of franchises, take any promises about guidance, training,
and other support with the proverbial grain of salt.
 How long has the franchisor been in business?
 How many franchised outlets exist? Where are they?
 What is the initial franchise fee? What additional start-up costs can you expect? Are there
continuing royalty payments? How much? What do other franchisees pay?
 What management, technical, and other support does the franchisor offer?
 What training and continuing support does the franchisor provide? Does the franchisor’s
training measure up to the training for workers in the particular industry?

Exhibitors may offer you incentives to attend a promotional meeting to discuss the franchise in greater detail. These meetings can be another source of information and another opportunity to raise questions. Be prepared to walk away from any franchise opportunity—and promotion—that doesn’t fit your needs.

Investigate the franchisor’s financial assets and resources; are they sufficient to support the franchisees?

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