Franchise is just a type of business. In a weak economy as we now have, there are good businesses and poor businesses. The same goes for franchises, some do very well and others poorly in a slower market. Franchises catering to lower end products and restaurants such as McDonald’s do well in a slower economy but high end restaurants may not be doing well.
Another important aspect of franchises is location, location, location. You can have the most successful franchise but if it is a poor location, the sales will be lacking and the franchise may not be successful. Look for a franchise which you believe is recession proof and look for one which has a good location. Do not forget to consider, there are new franchiseswhich are sold by the franchiser and franchises which are existing locations for sale. The later has a track record and you can see if it has been successful whereas a new franchise, you never know until you open the door to find out how many customers you will get.
Some locations may have an excellent traffic flow to a strip mall however the type of customers going to the mall may not go into the franchise store. Remember, traffic to a plaza is great but you are located between non synergistic businesses, you are not likely to get a lot of customers. The franchise I referred to above was located beside a large bowling alley and a large all you can eat buffet. Customers from neither of these businesses went to the franchise and it failed.