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Many people want to buy “hot” franchises, and that makes franchise rankings all the more appealing. If a franchise opportunity is ranked #1, it’s “sizzling hot”. And it’s still probably considered “hot” if it’s in the top 25!
Rankings present a problem for many prospective franchise buyers because, “Holy Cow!”, what if the business you want to buy isn’t in the top 25? What if it isn’t even ranked?
Is ‘Hot’ a Good Measurement?
“It’s easy for franchise prospects to worry too much about ‘hotness’,” says Steve Gross, who manages the conference schedule for MFV Expositions. Every expo produced by MFV includes a couple of dozen seminars and symposia for the benefit of attendees.
“In fact,” says Gross, “at the International Franchise Expo coming up this June, we offer a free seminar titled ‘How to Buy Hot Franchises Without Getting Burned!’ The seminar was created by Dr. John Hayes, who also teaches our most popular symposium, ‘The A to Zs of Buying a Franchise’.”
Rankings Measure Achievements
Hayes, author of numerous best-selling books about franchising, says, “Buying a ‘hot’ franchise may be the quickest way to get burned!” But he quickly points out that a “hot” franchise is almost always better than a “cold” franchise.
So yes, franchise rankings are important!
“However,” Hayes cautions, “your primary criterion for buying a franchise should not be how it’s ranked. The ranking is a measurement of an achievement, or a combination of achievements, such as number of units sold to the most satisfied franchisees. The achievements are important, but ‘hot’ or ‘cold’, it’s more important that the franchise fits the buyer’s personality, skills, and interests.”
Socio-economic factors, as well as consumer interests, drive business popularity, and popularity is often difficult to predict. “In the past 30 years, since I’ve been working in franchising,” continues Hayes, “we’ve seen ‘hot’ businesses go ‘cold’ almost overnight resulting in havoc for franchisors and franchisees.”
If popularity wanes, what then?
So if your primary motivation for buying a business was popularity, and that popularity wanes, what then? Can you pull that business through the downturn? And can you do it without regretting getting up every day to do something you don’t want to do?
Hayes says, “The franchisee who buys a business based on compatibility with the business, and a passion to own the business, is far ahead of the franchisee who bought based on popularity.”
Rankings Focus Your Attention
Go ahead and pay attention to the rankings. The Franchise 500 is published every January by Entrepreneur magazine, which also publishes a list of the Fastest-Growing Franchises. Franchise Times publishes its own ranking, Franchise Business Review lists franchises by degree of franchisee satisfaction, Nation’s Restaurant News publishes the Top 100 in the food industry, GI Jobs promotes Military Friendly Franchises, and USA Today lists the 50 Top Franchises for Veterans.
There are other rankings, and they are all designed to focus your attention on specific franchise opportunities that deserve your time and attention. However, keep in mind that new franchises are developed almost weekly in North America. The perfect franchise for you may not earn a ranking for months, but you don’t want to miss it.
By the way, that’s another reason why you should attend the International Franchise Expo in June in New York City. Many new franchises, including many that have yet to be ranked, can be discovered at the expo. Register at www.ifeinfo.com and come and find your perfect franchise.