Image of How to Begin Your Search: Finding Your Perfect Franchise Match

How to Begin Your Search: Finding Your Perfect Franchise Match

A franchisor’s website will provide the most in-depth information on its business model, support systems, and more. But researching franchise opportunities can be time-consuming and unrewarding without a plan. To well use your limited time, it’s helpful to look at all your options before deep-diving.  

Not sure where to start? Franchise portals, expositions, and consultants are great timesaving resources at the start of your search. They can help you separate the wheat from the chaff and spot the really exceptional franchises.

Franchise Portals

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. These portals can also offer free access to a franchise consultant and provide a way to contact the franchisor directly.

Franchise portals allow you to filter by industry, location, investment, and more. This comes in handy when looking for specific criteria. Many franchise portals will also rank their top franchises based on benchmarks. Rankings are determined by 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. Here are a few of the most popular franchise portals:

Franchise Expositions

A franchise exposition allows franchisors to present their business to entrepreneurs. Attendees meet face-to-face with the exhibiting franchisors. You learn about the franchise, ask questions and network with their team.

Attendees receive a list of the exhibiting franchisors prior to the event. This allows you to conduct research beforehand and prepare for productive conversations. Attendees also receive access to information-rich seminars. These seminars cover a range of topics, from legal advice and financial programs to marketing tactics and long-term growth strategies.

These events provide a unique learning opportunity. But they 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.

Franchise Consultants

A franchise consultant helps match you with franchises meeting your criteria. Their job is to educate you on the franchise opportunities that are available. Then, they’ll assess whether you’d be a good fit for a brand and “pre-qualify” you for the franchise. 

Pros and Cons of Using a Franchise Consultants

Franchise consultants provide a lot of professional guidance. But it’s important to step into the relationship with a full understanding of the pros and cons. 

Pros:

  • Franchise consultants 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 consultants can introduce you to brands and industries that you might not have otherwise thought about.
  • Franchise consultants assess your situation to help choose the right type of franchise for you.
  • Franchise consultants are privy to the territories that are available to purchase for a franchise—helping you determine if an opportunity is available in your market. 

Cons:

  • Franchise consultants often represent a portfolio of brands. Franchisors pay them on a commission basis—but only if you purchase their franchise. It may motivate consultants to push clients toward the franchisors who will pay the most. 
  • Some franchise consultants 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 consultants may encourage multi-unit transactions to boost their commissions.
Where to Find Trustworthy Franchise Consultants

The International Franchise Association’s website has a helpful franchise consultant directory. It’s a great resource for finding franchise consultants. Larger consultant networks are also widely trusted, representing hundreds of established and emerging franchise brands. Here are a few of the most popular franchise consultant networks:

No matter how great your franchise consultant 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Franchise portals, expositions, and consultants 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 consultants educate you on the franchise opportunities that are available and “pre-qualify” you for the franchise. But they may be motivated to push clients toward the franchisors who will pay the highest commission. 
  • Ultimately, a franchisor’s website will provide the most in-depth information on its business model, support systems, and more. Always do your own due diligence!
The information contained on this website is not intended as an offer to sell a franchise or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. It is for informational purposes only. The following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, British Swim School Franchising, LLC will not offer or sell a franchise in that jurisdiction unless and until the offering has been duly registered and declared effective by such jurisdiction and British Swim School Franchising, LLC has complied with applicable disclosure laws.

Request Franchise Info