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A New Pair of Glasses – Looking into Franchise Opportunities with a Fresh Perspective

Franchises are today's hottest entrepreneurial opportunity — provided you know what you're doing.

Let’s say you are seriously looking into buying a franchise. Where do you start? This is not an easy question since there are more than 3,100 franchise concepts to choose from. Most people, regardless of how intelligent or experienced they may be in other businesses, don’t have a clue about how to investigate franchise opportunities, or begin with a host of misconceptions and incorrect assumptions.

I invest most of my professional time coaching and educating people on how to become savvy franchise investors. I’ve come across some common ways of thinking that are just plain wrong.

Idea #1 — Buying a Franchise is like Buying a Job

Some people are looking for a single unit location to open and manage. There are some great opportunities here, and even if someone “buys themselves a job” through a single-unit franchise, unlike a job, they can build equity and assets while earning income.

Although you may choose to work in your business, a growing franchise is far more lucrative and secure than a traditional job. Second, franchising offers a variety of options that fit the skill set, financial goals and objectives of any level of investor.

Area development, multi-unit and master franchising are all vehicles to build significant wealth through growing large and/or multiple markets in unique ways. Many offer semi-absentee ownership, and planning so the candidate can keep his or her job while building the business for a transition in the future.

Idea #2 — It's Too Expensive

It’s unfortunate how many would-be entrepreneurs simply don’t take a serious look at an opportunity because of this myth. Franchises are more affordable than most people think and there are many funding options available. You may be surprised to find out that over 30 percent of the 3,100 franchise opportunities in the U.S. today have an all-in start-up cost of under $100,00, and 70 percent have a franchise fee of under $30,000. Professional help is available to explore funding options at no charge to you.

Idea #3 — “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” (insert fairy dust here)

This has to be the most misunderstood idea in business today. Many people try to monetize their hobby or interest, or try to find a franchise in an area close to their heart and end up a complete misfit. Why is that? Yes, we want a product that is reliable and useful and popular, but you do not have to love the product. You do have to know it is a great product, its better if you love solving the problems your customer has with your product/service. The bottom line is that you do have to love the idea of being in business for yourself, being an owner, and being in charge. You’ll want to bring your passion for building something of value, customer service and commerce to the enterprise and success will follow.

The trick is to take your skills and competencies and find an opportunity they will easily transfer into. Time after time, we have found that no one is limited to their previous line of work, experience or hobbies.

So, separate the idea of the business and what the business does or sells. Separate the role of you, the owner, and the purpose of the product. This way, you will measure your fit to the role of the owner and have a world of opportunities open to you.

Along with your search for concepts based on interest, an experienced advisor can enlighten you and educate you on the vast possibilities you really do fit into.The top concepts where you can add value, generate income and build real wealth. After all, a business is simply a vehicle to get you somewhere – where is it you’d like to go?

Mariel Miller Organizational Development
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