Whenever I speak to a group about franchising or tell someone I’ve just met what I do, the inevitable question is always “What’s the best franchise right now?”
I don’t have a problem with this question from people that are just curious about popular franchises. I do have a problem when I hear it from people that are seriously considering buying a franchise and using someone else’s definition of “best” to guide them. I get frustrated because this is absolutely the wrong and a totally irrelevant question to ask. I’m sure many franchises get sold because they are touted as the best or hottest concept at any moment in time.
The problem with this question is the only real answer to the question is “The best franchise is whichever franchise you make money at and enjoy working on every day.” The answer will be different for different people depending on their own skills, goals, financial situation, lifestyle desires, etc.
Bottom line, don’t worry about what the magazines or franchisors say is popular, best or any other label put on a franchise concept. Do worry about:
- Is this a business I can afford with plenty of money in the bank to live on as I build the business?
- Based on the franchisor’s strategy and my own common sense, how many customers do I need every day to meet my goals and do I see myself doing the things necessary to ensure that happens? It is rare that you will generate enough customers just by opening your business. Business development is work and it is time consuming if done right.
- If I do everything right, can I get my original investment back in 6 – 18 months? If not, find a concept where you can. There are plenty out there.
- How many hours a day and days of the week do you want to work in, work on, and worry about your business? Does the businesses hours match that? Even if someone else is in charge during certain hours or days, if this is your first business, you will likely worry every minute the business is open, whether your are there or not.
- If you want to grow, are there available territories in your specific geographic area?
Remember, at the end of the day, you are buying a business to make money. Someone else’s “BEST” franchise is no indicator of your ability to make money if it was yours.
author: Dan Fragen has a unique perspective on the franchise industry having been President and CEO of a national franchisor and now as a franchisee himself. Dan is President of Ligero Group, Ltd in Charlotte, NC. Ligero Group helps people interested in franchising decide if franchising makes sense for them and if it does, helps them find the best fit for success based on an individual’s specific situation.