How to Begin Your Search: Finding Your Perfect Franchise Match
July 22, 2022
A franchisor’s website will provide the most in-depth information on their business model, support systems, and more. But with thousands of franchise opportunities available, it's impossible to delve into them all.
In this resource, you’ll learn about franchise portals, expositions, and brokers, and how they can save you precious time as you separate the opportunities that fit him like a glove from the utterly uninteresting.
Franchise portals are online directories for franchise businesses. They’re a one-stop shop for information on franchising, collaborating with both nationally recognized and emerging brands.
Franchise portals allow you to filter by industry, location, investment, and more. Many franchise portals will also rank their top franchises based on various parts of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Most rankings focus on a combination of costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial stability.
Narrowing your options can help you decide which opportunities to explore, but it’s helpful to know which portals make your search the easiest.
A few of our favorite franchise portals include:
A franchise exposition allows franchisors to present the opportunities they offer to potential entrepreneurs. Attendees meet face-to-face with the exhibiting franchisors, providing an opportunity to ask questions and network.
Attendees receive a list of the exhibiting franchisors prior to the event. This allows you to prepare for a productive conversation with the franchisors you're interested in learning more about. Attendees also receive access to information-rich seminars, covering topics from legal advice and financial programs, to marketing tactics and long-term growth strategies.
However, these events can also subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. Be ready to reject any franchise opportunity that does not suit your investment level, interest, and goals.
A franchise broker helps match you with the right franchise opportunities. Their job is to educate you, as a prospective franchisee, on the franchise opportunities that are available, assess whether you may be a good fit for a brand, and then ultimately “pre-qualify” you for the franchise.
Pros and Cons of Using a Franchise Broker
- Franchise brokers have experience in the industry and understand the ins and outs of buying a franchise. This experience can be extremely valuable if you're new to franchising.
- Franchise brokers can introduce you to brands and industries that you might not have otherwise thought about.
- Franchise brokers assess your situation to help choose the right type of franchise for you.
- Franchise brokers are privy to the territories that are available to purchase for a franchise—helping you determine if an opportunity is available in your market.
- Franchise brokers often represent a portfolio of brands, and franchisors pay them on a commission basis—but only if you purchase their franchise. They may be incentivized to push clients toward the franchisors who are willing to pay the most.
- Some franchise brokers will only recommend emerging brands to you since they usually offer the most aggressive commissions, and they are more likely to offer territories in your market.
- Franchise brokers may encourage multi-unit transactions to boost their commissions.
Where to Find Trustworthy Franchise Brokers
The International Franchise Association (IFA) website, which has a franchise broker directory, is a helpful resource for finding franchise brokers. Larger broker networks are also widely trusted, representing hundreds of established and emerging franchise brands.
A few of our favorite broker networks include:
- Franchise Brokers Association
- International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG)
- The Entrepreneur‘s Source (TES)
- The You Network
No matter how great your franchise broker is, you also need to do your own due diligence to ensure that the franchise opportunity is a good fit for you. This includes reviewing the franchise disclosure document (FDD) with your attorney and accountant, speaking with current and former franchisees, and researching the franchisor’s track record.
- Franchise portals, expositions, and brokers are valuable resources for finding the right type of franchise for you.
- Franchise portals are a one-stop shop for information on franchising. But with thousands of franchises listed, it’s helpful to know which portals make your search the easiest.
- Franchise expositions are great to explore and compare a wide range of franchise opportunities, but they could also subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. Be ready to reject any franchise opportunity that does not suit your investment level, budget, and goals.
- Franchise brokers educate you on the franchise opportunities that are available and “pre-qualify” you for the franchise. But because franchise brokers are paid based on commission, they may be incentivized to push clients toward the franchisors who are willing to pay the most.
- Ultimately, a franchisor’s website will provide the most in-depth information on their business model, support systems, and more. Always do your own due diligence!