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Franchising is hot and getting hotter. A new franchise is opened in the U.S. every eight minutes, and franchising sales now account for more than 40 percent of all U.S. retail sales, according to the International Franchise Association.
But just as the number of small business owners who buy a franchise has risen, so has the number of companies looking to sell franchises in their goods or services. That growth has introduced both more opportunities for franchising and more risk for the buyer.
With so many choices, how does a person decide if a particular franchise is the right way to go? There aren't any foolproof answers, but here are some suggestions that may take some of the guesswork out of franchise shopping:
The most successful franchisors over the years, Cohen says, are the ones that have understood that a franchise is a partnership and that there must be give and take between franchisor and franchisee. If you do your homework, you should be able to eliminate much of the guessing about which franchisors will make good business partners with you.
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