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Sometimes the franchise opportunity that’s best for you isn’t the most obvious franchise, the most popular franchise, or the trendiest franchise. Sometimes the franchise that’s best for you is a lesser-known opportunity in an obscure industry, or it may be in a mainstream industry, but it’s not glamorous. These franchises are not thought to be the “hot” opportunities, but they are moneymakers. Be careful that you don’t miss them!
“Franchise prospects often forget to ask, ‘Which franchise makes the most sense for me?’ because they’re more concerned about buying the ‘hot’ franchise,” said Dr. John Hayes, who teaches the A to Zs of Buying a Franchise at the annual International Franchise Expo. “There’s nothing wrong with ‘hot’ franchises, except that you can get ‘burned’ if the business doesn’t meet your needs. It’s critically important to look at franchises in terms of how they will fit your expectations and meet your skill set.”
Some industries are less glamorous than others, so they don’t get the attention of popular media. Business-to-business services, cleaning, childcare, auto repair, adult care, and education – franchise opportunities in these categories are sometimes overlooked, even though they are stable businesses.
“In the past 35 years,” continued Dr. Hayes, “many of the people who I’ve known who bought the trendiest franchises are now out of business, or they lost money and bought a different franchise. However, people who bought what we might call ‘under the radar’ franchises have flourished. Why? Because those franchises supply products and services that people buy every day, even though no one makes a big deal about them.”
The name of a franchise, or its industry niche, may be misleading. A good example is the auto after-care market. Have you thought about buying a muffler repair, brake repair, or transmission repair business? You might say, “I don’t know anything about those services.” Or you might compare those services to “blue collar” work, while thinking of yourself as a “white collar” professional. It might surprise you to know that “white collar” franchisees are running the most successful auto after-care businesses in the USA.
“In every business niche,” said Dr. Hayes, “franchisors are not looking for technicians. They are looking for business operators who can market and sell products and services, and ultimately build a brand. The muffler repair shop needs technicians, but that’s not the franchisee. The technician provides the service, but the franchisee builds the business. You might be someone who enjoys motivating technicians. You probably won’t change a muffler yourself, but you’re comfortable in the shop. Meanwhile, if you also love meeting people and providing a valued service that millions of people need, the muffler repair business, or a tire business, or an auto paint business, might be your perfect opportunity.”
Even if a business isn’t touted as glamorous or “hot”, don’t be misled. Ultimately, you want a business that satisfies customers. Ultimately, you want a business that satisfies you. Ultimately, you want a business that makes money! Therefore, keep an open mind and consider a business that might be right under your radar!