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.

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