In print, publications like the Canadian Business Franchise Directory are helpful because they provide a lot of information about each franchise and its franchisor. Flipping through, you might start by narrowing your field of choice to 10 concepts before discussing with a consultant or broker which one would be a good fit for you.
Online, there are literally thousands of places to search, including the 1-Minute Franchise Finder. It is a good idea to start by being very specific about the type of franchise you are seeking. You can search by industry, location or price.
Consultants and brokers
A consultant or broker will sit down with you, assess your capabilities, strengths and needs and then assist you with finding the right franchise. Some of them will continue with you through the process of negotiating the franchise agreement, getting financed and closing the agreement.
Evaluating a franchise
There are many factors to consider when you are evaluating a franchise. Most potential franchisees assume the primary consideration is the investment, but this is secondary to assessing whether or not you have a passion for the business. Pick something you would love to do, then see what is available in that category at your price range.
That said, the beauty of franchising is you do not have to have any experience in the corresponding field, since you will get complete training regarding every aspect of the business. The training program will commence after the franchise agreement has been signed and the initial fee has been paid.
When evaluating a franchise system, you should review such obligations as weekly operating hours and ongoing training. Will you be able to meet this schedule?
Further, you will be required to operate within a stringent set of rules and procedures. Are you the kind of person who can do that for the long term? A system of tried and tested tools, after all, is why you would buy a franchise in the first place, as it is a less risky way to go into business. You get not only the name and goodwill, but also research and development (R&D), continued support and marketing.