As a franchise sales consultant I am often asked what is the best way to start the initial process of researching and finding the right franchise business to buy. Most of these individuals are still in the initial stages of thinking about buying a franchise, and don?t necessarily have a strong opinion either way about what type of opportunity they are looking for. My answer is that there are more resources available in today?s market then at anytime to find and research franchise opportunities. Below is a list of some of the most popular methods prospective franchise buyers can use to help narrow the search process and find the franchise business that?s right for them. Internet Directories: The fastest and most convenient way to begin the process of finding a franchise is via the Internet.
There are now dozens of franchise opportunities directories online today that offer comprehensive listings of franchises for sale, including information about investment levels, training, availability, and how to contact the franchise company for more details. These directories are also a good source for free information about the general process of buying a franchise business. You may want to visit A few different directories such as , , and because not all of then will carry the same franchise listings. Franchise Industry Publications: Trade publications are another good source for general information about franchises available and franchising industry news. There are magazines available such as Franchise Times and Entrepreneur, as well as multiple online venues such as and that provide a wealth of free information about finding and buying a franchise. Trade Shows & Conventions: There are numerous franchise opportunity trade shows and conventions held through out the year and around the world. These venues offer the chance for individuals to discover and research new opportunities, as well as the unique opportunity to meet actual representatives of franchise companies they may have an interest in. Some of the more popular shows include the National Franchise & Business Opportunities Show, and International Franchise Expo.
Franchise Consultants & Brokers: Franchise Consultants and brokers work with as little as a few to dozens of different franchise concepts in their database that they generally have in depth knowledge about. Considering the thousands of different franchise opportunities that buyers can choose from these days, they can be effective in helping a prospective buyer narrow their search by first qualifying them, and then showing them opportunities that could be a potential good match. Since the majority of these consultants are paid a referral fee or success fee by the franchisors if one of buyers they introduce moves forward, the buyer generally has no direct expense associated in engaging a franchise consultant to help them. Some of the potential downsides to working with a franchise consultant can include that some only represent a few or a limited menu of franchise concepts which can potentially limit the prospective buyer?s exposure to seeing all the opportunities available in the market. And like some sales people who work on commission, the motivations of the consultant may some times not be entirely consistent with the prospective buyer?s best interest or goals. But I would say overall, that the franchise consultant industry has a very good reputation for treating their clients fairly and professionally. Business Brokers: Many professional business brokers are also franchise consultants, and they also can be an excellent source to find existing or established franchise business for sale in your local area if you decide to go that route. Business brokers generally also have good working knowledge of how franchising works, and can often be very helpful to a prospective buyer because of their inside knowledge of the local small business market. Hit The Streets: Another good and obvious way to find a research a potential franchise opportunity is to scope out and visit existing franchise businesses in your local area. There is no better validation that a franchise concept works than seeing a busy store or restaurant full of customers. And if they are available and have the time, you may also want to ask the owner about how business is going, are they happy with the franchisor, and would they recommend this opportunity.