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A franchise list can give you a starting point for your research. As you go through the franchise directory take notes about support and training, advertising done, and more.
When you are starting a brand new franchise, as opposed to buying an existing one, find out what kind of startup assistance that is available. Some start-up assistance available might include information on:
• location selection
• construction assistance
• grand opening support
• getting through the governmental agencies for signage
• employee laws
• health code requirements
The franchise list is a good starting point, but you cannot expect to find all the information you need online.
A franchise business list should clearly indicate which type of franchise they are offering. Some franchisors offer product or trade name franchising only (you gain the right to use the product or trade name and that's about it). More involved franchise opportunities in business directories are those that provide an ongoing relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. Typically, you pay a one time fee plus ongoing royalties. In return, the franchisor provides ongoing training, support, and advertising.
There are a variety of franchise directories online. Some are portals, offering a wide variety of information. Others are narrowly focused on certain niches and can show you a franchise opportunity or business directory within a specific industry.
You can search through various franchise directories by industry, investment costs, region, or a variety of other categories. Franchise directories provide you with a quick way to get a feel for the franchise world including:
• financing options
Some franchise directories focus on U.S. franchises and others on international opportunities. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
When you're looking for a franchise opportunity, a business directory can be a good place to start. There are directories that specialize in franchise opportunities as well, which might provide you with more focus. Some franchise directories focus on specific industries (like restaurants or home-based businesses). Others offer a wider view of the franchise world. Some helpful ways to select a successful franchise include:
• Making notes of how the franchisors advertise themselves
• Identifying things that different franchisors stress as important
• Making comparisons of several different franchises in the same industry
• Finding and participating in some online discussion groups about various franchise directories and businesses
The Small Business Administration has a franchise directory of franchises that have worked with the SBA and meet their requirements. They offer a streamlined loan application process because they have investigated the franchise operation and worked with the corporate management. However, just because a franchisor appears in the SBA franchise directory does not mean you should presume anything about their quality or profitability. The SBA will still consider financing other franchises, but the process will be more similar to their typical small business loan process.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|