Best Franchises to Buy: A Franchise Consultant’s View

best franchises to buy

I’m asked all the time, “What are the best franchises to buy”?

Everyone looks at McDonald’s as one of the quintessential best franchises to buy, but, is it the best? For a select few, it’s terrific.  How about 7-11, arguably the largest franchise system in the US, is it the best?  I’m sure many people have done very well in that system.  Choice Hotels?  Great system, not great for everybody.

How about Subway?  KFC? Burger King?  All strong franchise systems with excellent name recognition, but in my opinion, and I owned a restaurant for 7 years, there are much better ways to make money than in the restaurant business.

So, what ARE the best franchises to buy? The truth is there are many, many terrific franchises available today and no two people are exactly alike.  Although there are certain attributes shared by all great franchises, the best franchise for my clients is the one that has each of those specific characteristics and aligns well with their individual profiles.  It will be a franchise that they can afford and one that will provide a system of support that utilizes their strengths and complements their weaknesses in order to help them achieve their individual personal and professional goals.

The fact is that a person cannot just call the corporate office and simply buy a franchise.  Franchises are awarded to new franchisees after candidates clear a series of qualification hurdles.  Simply said, if the franchise executive does not like the candidate or does not think they can afford to buy and build the business, a candidate will not get past the first, introductory call.

Choosing the right franchise

There are many great franchises.  I look for franchise systems that are leaders in their business categories and have been franchising long enough and have developed enough franchised units (50+) to be thoroughly vetted and experienced in the “business of franchising.”  I also look for brands that offer excellent training, pre and post opening, proven marketing programs, back office and operations information technology systems, and most importantly, excellent validation from current franchisees in the areas of unit level economics and value.

Many of the top franchisors now offer franchisees operational efficiencies such as call centers to assist in scheduling sales calls, new technology to aid in managing off site time & attendance and real time logistics, state of the industry Customer Relations Management systems and buying protocols formerly only available to large corporations.

When searching for the illusive “best franchise to buy,” it’s best to be prepared, honest and truthful about yourself and your situation in life.  Ask yourself: How much can I really afford to spend?  Do I have access to enough capital to live while the business is ramping up to support me?  Is my spouse supportive of my desire to become a business owner? Do I have the skills and personality necessary to sell my product or services?  The answers are embedded in the treasure map to finding your best franchise opportunities.

There are top franchise opportunities in just about every business segment;

  • The old standards of the service industries; painting, cleaning, renovation & remodeling
  • New businesses being spawned by new laws and evolving consumer buying habits
  • Businesses that identify environmental realities and address them
  • and of course businesses that address the aging of the Baby Boomers

Franchise ownership can be the ticket to the American Dream and finding your tailor-made best franchise to start can be like having the winning lottery ticket.  Identifying your ideal franchise will take time, effort and working with a professional who is experienced and can help you navigate through the due diligence of research, analysis and validation.

Pink Slip Paradise: Beat the Downsize With Franchising

Pink Slip Paradise

Sid Lee, President, Choice Franchise Advisors

At the time, he was an executive with Starbucks leading a comfortable suburban life in Bristow Virginia with his wife Lisa and his daughter Alexandra.  In addition to being active in his community HOA, he was also a prominent high school football referee.  Nice comfortable life.

However, as is the story with countless other middle to upper income executives in corporate America who are age 50 and above, sometimes termination comes out of the blue.  In the summer of 2010, Starbucks did a corporate reduction in force leaving Sid with some decisions to make and a short time to make them.  For many, this scenario means financial loss and extreme family stress. For some, however, it could even mean divorce and family displacement.

Sid was terrified at first, but in the end, it was a blessing.

After six months of frustration, he came to realize that being an overqualified 57 year old ex-executive had made him unemployable.  Business ownership seemed to be the only option.  It was at this point that he discovered franchising.  After making an investment of $25,000 along with months of training and study, he launched his new career as an entrepreneur in the franchise industry.  He went on to blog about the experience in a way that could help others in similar situations.

As Sid’s brother, I’ve observed his transition from executive to business owner over the last 5 years.  At my urging, Sid has organized some of his blogs into a book aptly titled “Pink Slip Paradise.”  If you are an executive and have experienced a corporate downsize, reduction in force, layoff, or a similar separation from your income, download “Pink Slip Paradise” on the bottom of our home page.  Learn about franchising as an effective method of replacing your income and starting a wealth building process that is gaining in popularity around the world.

Here are the top 5 questions answered in Sid’s book, “Pink Slip Paradise”:

  1. Should I start a new traditional business or buy a franchise?
  2. What are the benefits of using a franchise consultant?
  3. Why can’t anyone just go out and buy a franchise?
  4. What are the 3 ways of funding a franchise?
  5. How do I validate (prove worthy) a franchise?

Download a copy of Sid’s book at the bottom of our home page.

Sid Lee’s Client Testimonials

Sid Lee's client and peer testimonials

Sid Lee’s Franchising Client Testimonials:

Sid Lee testimonialsSid Lee, Founder and President of Choice Franchise Advisors, has helped many individuals officially enter the world of franchising.  As a franchise consultant, your success is measured by your ability to help new franchisees with your hard work and dedicated assistance.

He has achieved this by providing three major services for his clients:

  1.  First, he assists his clients with exhaustive franchise research.
  2.  Second, he provides powerful corporate franchisor introductions, and finally…
  3. He provides valuable opportunities for extensive franchise validation with current and former franchisees.

Ultimately, Sid’s goal in working with his clients is to help them reach the highest level of confidence possible, resulting in their purchase and operation of a successful franchise.

The following list of client testimonials will help distinguish Sid as the ideal choice to help you find the perfect franchise for your needs.

franchisor, America's Swimming Pool Company“Our company, America’s Swimming Pool Company, has worked with Sidfranchisor many times over the years.  He is a tireless worker that is always attentive to his client’s needs and finds the right opportunity.  Sid is an outstanding consultant that listens to his clients, which ultimately is the best quality a broker can exhibit.”

Jef Flournoy, V.P. of Sales & Development, ASP Franchising, LLC, Macon, GA

cleaning_authority“I contacted Sid at a time when I was looking for my next franchised business, but had no idea franchiseewhat I wanted to do. He very patiently listened to my requirements and presented me with perfect franchise systems to explore that fit my needs. After my insistence to research some 20 plus franchisors, I ended up becoming a franchisee of the very first system that Sid presented to me. I couldn’t be happier with the franchise. Sid’s pick was perfect for my financial and lifestyle goals. His approach is very patient, helpful, knowledgeable and professional. I highly recommend Sid if you are at all interested in franchising.”

Mike Cartier, The Cleaning Authority, Franchisee, Stafford Springs, CT

Thomas Steffie“Sid Lee was a valuable ally in my search.  I did not start out looking for a franchise, but Sid requested I give him a enviro-master serviceschance to show me what franchises were available in my areas of interest.  Sid then produced a great list of companies with precise summaries.   Next, he made valuable introductions and gave excellent advice leading me to the right opportunity.   Sid is a true professional and I recommend his services to anyone searching for their next business.”

Thomas Steffie, Enviro-Master Services franchisee for the Ithaca NY market.


Karen McFadden with her MomDear Sid Lee, You have been the best possible advisor for my  mother and I. I know that this was not an easy journey yet here we are and I have the opportunity to do what I love.  I have no possible way of fully repaying you for all of your time, effort and energy you have put into our dream of being business owners.  …Thank you very much and I do look forward to working with you again in the near future should you remain in the making dreams come true business…

Karen McFadden, New Franchisee, Parker-Anderson Enrichment, Peris, CA


A Downsized Executive’s Story: Pink Slipped in 2010

Executive's story: Pink Slip Paradise

An excerpt taken from Sid Lee’s franchise success ebook, “Pink Slip Paradise”.

The worst and best day of my life…the day I was pink slipped.

There are 3 letters that are not found in The American Dream…J-O-B!  Here are some recent headlines:

  • Standard Chartered to Cut Senior Staff by 25 Percent
  • Tribune Publishing Announces Staff Reduction
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Brings Temporary Foreign Workers to U.S. to Move Jobs Overseas
  • The Daily News Layoffs and Digital Shift May Signal the Tabloid Era’s End
  • Caterpillar to Cut Up to 10,000 Jobs, Citing Falling Demand
  • More layoffs in the oil industry announced this week, including 950 Chevron jobs cut in Houston.
  • Halliburton, Baker cut workforces deeper, bringing layoffs to 27,000
  • Walmart CEO tells staff 450 job cuts aim to make are to become more “nimble” retailer

I can go on and on and it’s not a happy ending. And the truth is, none of us are immune from the possibility of being fired, pink slipped, laid off, RIF’d, let go…whatever you want to call it.  Did I say NONE OF US? Unfortunately, it is fact and we all know someone who has been given the gift of a pink slip. Gift? Yes, gift.

Change is good, if you are prepared for it.  I was not.

As with most of us, I certainly was not shocked when I was fired…I’m sorry, retired. I had heard the rumors, witnessed the continual reductions in force several times during the few years prior to my release.  But, up until then I had been one of the lucky ones who was still employed.  Then came the day I remember most, October 10, 2010.

My boss and I had received the same notification. We both received meeting planners to be at a mandatory meeting on the same day, one half hour apart.  As I was a remote employee, my meeting was a conference call. She worked at the corporate headquarters, her meeting was personal. I called her and said, “Hey if HR is in the room, just text me”.  She replied, “It’s worse than that, my meeting is in the HR office.”  Done deal…

I was terrified and had not really planned for this event.  I never received a bad review and was very productive over my career.   Fooled, I thought I was a member of the “protected class.”  But, I was over 50 years old and none of us are immune.

As most of us dumped into this situation do, I began working on my resume and increasing my LinkedIn connections.  I thought I needed a new job.  I even got one for a little while.  It paid me less than I had been accustomed and was a little out of my wheelhouse.  However, I was happy to be re-employed.

…then it happened again.  I was pink slipped about a month before Christmas.

This time I said to my wife and family…”never again”.  This day changed my life.  I was going to become a business owner, not an employee.  Over the course of my career I had worked for some terrific people and learned from some of the best.  I had the skills, the education and the experience…but did I have the confidence to do it alone?

Fortunately, I had saved some money during my career and my credit score was good.  I knew that at 58 years old, I was going to be nobody’s first choice for a new corporate position. So, I started looking for a franchise.

I am now in my third year and have increased business every year with some terrific help and support from other professionals in my network and my affiliated corporate office.  My family’s life style has not changed and I am very confident now that I can, with more hard work, become even more successful as a franchise development consultant than I ever would have been in my corporate job.

Maybe I would not have been ready for entrepreneurship earlier in my career, but today I feel like I should have done this many years ago.  As an employee, I was always just one corporate decision away from the unemployment line.

 But, as a business owner, it’s always up to me.  I can’t be fired.

Most high schools and colleges don’t teach entrepreneurship.  Most of us are taught from a young age to work hard, do well in school and get a good JOB. Truth is, there is no JOB in the American Dream.  The American Dream is about defining your own success.  It’s about owning your own business where there is no cap on what you can earn and no restrictions on who can do it.  People from all over the world view the USA as the land of opportunity.  Mostly they immigrate here to become business owners.

Today immigrants constitute 12.2 percent of the total U.S. work force, and 12.5 percent of the total population of U.S. business owners.  Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than are non-immigrants.  In addition, they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States.  The total business income  generated by immigrant business owners is $67 billion, representing 11.6 percent of all business income in the United States.

Getting pink slipped should not be the worst day in anyone’s life.  It should be considered a gift, the gift to step out and experience what the rest of the world knows. The rest of the world sees the USA as the land of opportunity.  More of us should.

You can read Sid’s book by downloading from the bottom of our home page.