We know how exciting buying a franchise can be. It’s a gateway to a brand-new adventure, with much more freedom, autonomy, and feelings of ownership than you’ve likely had while at work.

At the same time, it’s also a major decision that merits careful consideration to make sure you’re choosing a franchise that will set you up for a successful and fulfilling experience. Without doing so, you may find yourself pursuing a franchise that just doesn’t feel like the right fit—something you’ll only realize after you put in plenty of time and effort. 

If you’re someone who’s in the process of weighing your options when it comes to franchising, we recommend taking the time to evaluate five key factors that shed some light on which franchise opportunities best align with your personal and professional goals, values, and resources. 

By taking the time now to think through these elements, you’ll feel more confident in your ultimate decision, as well as more prepared with a clear vision and the right foundation for your next chapter. 

A man and woman standing back to back and smiling

Factor 1: Your professional strengths

First and foremost, you should consider whether the franchise you’re interested in is a good fit for your professional skills, experience, and expertise. 

A franchise that allows you to rely on your existing strengths can give you a leg-up and help you to navigate any future challenges more effectively. For example, a franchise that requires strong management skills, like running a restaurant, will benefit greatly from someone with a background in team leadership and operations. On the other hand, a franchise focused on sales and customer engagement, like a retail store, would thrive under the guidance of someone with a knack for sales and interpersonal communication. Similarly, technical franchises, like IT support services, demand specific technical expertise and problem-solving skills.

To get this process started, sit down and conduct a thorough self-assessment to identify your strongest professional assets. What are some of your career achievements, core competencies, or areas where you excel? Then, consider the opposite: What are some of your weaknesses or areas that you’re less experienced in? Once you understand where your strengths lie, you can take stock of which franchise opportunities align with those skills, setting yourself up for a more rewarding business venture where you’ll feel confident and capable.

Factor 2: Your motivations and passions

Second, think about how to choose an ideal franchise that resonates with your interests and what you genuinely care about. 

This kind of motivation can mean the difference between merely running a business and thriving in one, with your enthusiasm serving as the fuel that drives your franchise forward. For instance, if you have a passion for creativity, a franchised marketing agency might be a perfect fit. If community service is your calling, a franchise that values social impact will allow you to channel your passion into meaningful work. Or, for those driven by the need for financial freedom, franchises with high growth potential in stable industries may be the most appealing option.

You’ve already reviewed your professional strengths in the previous step, so now’s the time to take a more personal approach, exploring what truly excites and inspires you. 

Are you motivated by the prospect of expressing yourself creatively? Do you want to work closely with others to see firsthand the results of your labors? 

Once you’ve uncovered what your core motivations are, you’ll know how to choose a franchise that not only meets your professional goals but also will be enjoyable for you to operate in the long run.

Factor 3: Your personal values

An extension of the first two factors, your personal values can guide you in selecting a franchise that fits with your values and beliefs. 

Operating a franchise that is in harmony with your values can mean a fulfilling work environment, whereas a misalignment can make you feel conflicted or unhappy. For instance, if you place an especially high value on family time or a healthy work-life balance, you’ll want to pursue franchise opportunities that give you more control over your schedule—like operating during a standard business day, rather than at all hours like a fast food franchise might. 

All franchises are different, and that means that the same goes for the values that they prioritize or make possible for you to prioritize. As you’re narrowing down your list of options, make sure you’re staying aware of the factors that are most important for you and whether a particular franchise would be a good match. 

By identifying what your must-have values are and ensuring that the franchise you choose upholds those principles, you can create a business environment where you feel comfortable and motivated. 

Factor 4: What's available in the location you want 

When choosing between your possible franchise ownership options, make sure you’re also thinking through the location. 

For starters, some franchisors may not allow for a new franchise location in your particular state or local market, which means you’d need to cross them off your list right off the bat. In addition, realize that the right franchise in the wrong location can lead to struggles despite your best efforts. Factors like local demographics, competition, and regulations significantly influence a franchise's performance in a specific area. A high-end health and fitness franchise could do well in an affluent, health-conscious community but face challenges in an area with lower income levels or limited interest in wellness activities. 

Similarly, market demand or saturation can also affect your outlook for success. A coffee shop franchise might thrive in an urban area with lots of foot traffic but struggle in a rural location with fewer potential customers. Thinking through the specific needs and characteristics of your desired location can help you select the ideal franchise that has the best chance for success and growth.

Factor 5: Your financial capabilities 

Consider your finances when preparing to take a major step like investing in a franchise. 

Starting and operating a franchise involves various costs, including franchise fees, startup costs, and ongoing royalties. You’ll also need to consider expenses for equipment, inventory, marketing, and staffing, which can add up quickly.

Conducting a thorough financial self-assessment, including exploring potential financing options, will help you to determine what kind of franchise you can afford, as different franchises require different investment levels to get up and running. For example, a fast-food franchise may require a significant initial investment for equipment, permitting, and real estate, while an office-based franchise would come with lower startup costs.

Finding the right franchise takes time

Embarking on a franchise venture is an exciting opportunity, and evaluating each of these factors will get you closer to determining the suitability and potential success of a franchise. As you go through the process, take your time and conduct thorough research, and don’t overlook the value of professional guidance and support from others. 

Remember: Choosing the ideal franchise is not just about immediate gains but about ensuring your well-being and achieving your long-term goals. Prioritize what matters most to you, and let that guide your journey toward selecting the ideal franchise that will bring you professional success and personal satisfaction. You’ve got this!

About the Author
Dan Brunell
Dan Brunell

Dan Brunell

Regional Vice President of Franchise Development

Dan’s background as a senior executive in the staffing industry and founder of a top franchise brokerage equips him with more than 30 years of experience helping prospective franchisees succeed.

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