By Joel Libava

There’s green. And red.
There’s Ferrari. And Kia.
There are dogs. And cats.
They’re all so different.
As different as…

Looking At A Franchise And Possibly Buying A Franchise

Lots of people “look” at franchises.
I’m looking into franchising.”
I’m looking to buy a franchise.”
I’ve been looking at franchises for a while.”

Well, whoop-de-do. Looking is pretty easy to do. Frustrating, but fairly easy.

Looking at all of the various franchise opportunities being offered these days can be pretty daunting. But, still, it’s “looking.” And, looking can be kind of fun. Until it isn’t.

That’s because there are so many darn choices. Over 3,000 different franchise opportunities are available at any given time. That’s a lot of businesses to go through. It can get frustrating if you’ve been at it for a while. It’s difficult to know who’s who and what’s what. But, eventually you’ll start to whittle down your choices.

And, once you’ve narrowed things down to two or three franchises, the real work begins. Along with something else.


Once you start filling out the “Request More Information” forms on franchise websites, the reality of what you may be about to do will start to creep into your everyday life. Actually, for some, it’s not really a creep; it’s more of a slap.

Little-known fact: Once you start requesting information from franchisors it will feel like you’ve just turned on some kind of giant power switch that immediately starts directing a serious amount of energy to your email inbox and phone concerning franchising. Expect these 10 things to happen:

  1. Within days, (hours sometimes) you’ll be getting calls from franchise sales representatives.
  2. Franchise brokers will start contacting you.
  3. Conference calls to discuss your interest will be scheduled.
  4. You’ll be asked to reveal very personal information about yourself, including your financials.
  5. If applicable, your spouse or partner will be asked to “join the conversation.”
  6. Potential territories/locations will be discussed
  7. A 300-page legal document (Franchise Disclosure Document) will be sent to you.
  8. You’ll be encouraged to start contact existing franchisees
  9. You’ll be encouraged to contact lenders
  10. You’ll be invited to franchise headquarters

The 10 things I just mentioned don’t even include actually buying the franchise. But, note how serious things become-just from filling out a form or two requesting information from a franchisor.

And, as an added bonus, your nights will start to include tossing and turning. Which is normal. After all, what you’re thinking about doing is big.

Becoming the owner of a franchise business will be life-changing.

And, it’s in this stage-the stage where “looking” starts transitioning into possibly “buying,” that most of the people I’ve worked with over the years as an advisor, start getting cold feet.

Will you?

Will you decide to “move in a different direction,” (a common phrase I hear when my clients decide to re-ignite their job searches etc.) when reality starts setting in?

Or, will you be able to reign in your emotions, and look at potentially becoming the owner of a franchise business-heck, any type of business, in a pragmatic way.

Remember, before you actually buy a franchise, you’re only “looking” to buy a franchise.

(The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, provides straightforward advice to people looking to buy franchises. Joel is the author of Become a Franchise Owner! (Wiley Publishing) and he recently launched Franchise Business University, where you can take a free online course on franchising.) @FranchiseKing