Best Franchise Advice: 8 Stupid Reasons For Buying a Franchise

stupid reasons for buying franchise businesses

I want you to buy a franchise business. I’d like nothing more. Buying a franchise would give you a shot at being in more control of your life…your circumstances. Imagine how you would feel if you weren’t chained to your corporate desk anymore. You’d finally be able to call the shots. You would help the economy, too. (Small businesses actually do that, you know.) I just want you to do it for the the right reasons.

If you’ve been subscribed to my blog for awhile, you know that I can get a bit critical of the franchise industry as a whole. Sometimes I come down rather hard on the International Franchise Association, which is my industry’s most powerful voice. Unfortunately, the IFA has turned into nothing more than a lobbying organization.

My motives are good; my delivery is average.

 

Best Franchise Advice

I just want to make sure that only the most qualified people (not just financially qualified), buy franchises that are really right for them, from high-quality franchisors. 

Part of how I do that is by offering my best franchise advice via blog posts-like the one you’re reading now.

In addition, I’m focused on making sure prospective franchise owners know that they have to have the right personality traits and styles to be successful franchise owners. Read, “Do You Have That Special Personality Needed To Be a Franchise Owner,” over at SBA.gov.

There are lots of very popular reasons that people buy franchises. But, where is it written that just because something’s popular, it means that it’s automatically good?

Although this post is focused on some stupid reasons to buy a franchise, it includes some of my best franchise advice.

You just have to look for it.


The Mac-Daddy

For instance, McDonald’s franchises are really popular. (At last count, there were over 31,000 locations.) Does that mean that McDonald’s franchises are good?

If you do happen to feel that McDonald’s franchises are in fact, good, just what do you mean by “good”?

  • Do they have good food?
  • Do they have good business systems?
  • Do they have good employment options?

This 8 Stupid Reasons For Buying a Franchise Business” post really isn’t about superior franchise operat0rs like McDonald’s, or the merits of their business model. (Which I happen to think is the best of the best.) It’s about you; the prospective franchise owner. I want you to look long and hard at your own reasons for wanting to buy a franchise.

In the last 13 years or so, I’ve had an opportunity to talk with thousands of people who’ve shown the desire to become their own bosses. I’ve been able to help them learn how to choose, research, and buy franchises. In some cases, I served as a franchise broker.

Now, I serve prospective franchise owners as an advisor. Go here to see what I do.

I’ve had lots of people tell me lots of different reasons for wanting to become franchise owners.

The list that follows includes some of them, plus I’ve added a few classics.

Best Franchise Advice: 8 Stupid Reasons For Buying a Franchise

  • You can’t get a job. There’s a reason that this one comes first. It’s hard enough to start a business without the added pressure of the “, I sure hope that I can make this thing work” chatter going through your head. Don’t buy a franchise, (or any type of business) because you have to. Buy a franchise because you want to.
  • It’s hot! Really? How long has the franchise that you’re thinking of buying been “hot?” A month. A year? 2.3 years? Have you ever bought a “hot” car? Buying a car or truck that is really popular is quite a challenge. What usually ends up happening is that you get you’re 2nd or 3rd color choice, (because your 1st choice is totally unavailable) and you end up paying too much. (Add to that the possibility that the kinks haven’t been worked out, yet.) The same thing could happen with a “hot” franchise.” (You may not get your 1st choice in a location, and you may pay too much for your franchise. And then there’s those kinks.)
  • There’s a prime location open right by your house. What are you picturing for this fine location? A restaurant? A Payday Loan store? A Dollar store? Wait a cotton-pickin minute. Did you really say a Payday Loan store? If you’re thinking about one of those, please don’t subscribe to my blog. Anyway, believe it or not, the location part of the franchise exploratory process usually happens towards the end of your fact-gathering mission. Forget about the location. Find out if you’re a fit for the franchise concept, and if the franchisees are happy and making money. The location part of the process usually works out just fine.
  • You’re in love. That’s right; you’re in love with a product or service, and it just so happens that it’s a franchise operation. That fact alone probably won’t cloud your judgment too much. (Oh yes it will!) Before you go jumping into this Olympic-sized franchise pool head first, stop and think about this for a minute. Just because you love the food and the atmosphere at Ronnie’s Rib Jungle And Deli, it doesn’t mean that you should become a franchisee. (Duh!) Have you ever worked in a restaurant? I hope so. If not, I suggest getting a job in one, (for about a year) before you even think of tackling something that you may get in way over your head with. (By the way, I worked in the food and beverage industry for years. I had to wear a tacky burgundy tuxedo. I know what I’m talking about.)

Jungle restaurant

(Ronnie’s Rib Jungle And Deli. OK, not really, but it’s cool picture.)

  • Your Aunt Tillie and Uncle Mort, just back from their 28-day cruise, mention “this restaurant” they ate at in Barbados. They tell you a very descriptive story of their dining experience, and hand you the owner’s card, (who just happened to mention that he was “thinking about franchising it, soon.”) First of all, someone who’s “thinking about franchising” their concept, is probably not someone who you should spend a lot of time with. Even if they do end up franchising it, you’re at least a year away from having the opportunity to buy it. Spend your time on concepts that are already franchises. Please.
  • You’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. First off, congratulations! We need more people like you. Now, please don’t confuse being an entrepreneur with being a franchisee. It’s not the same. (It’s a 1st cousin, once removed, but..) This is an industry-wide problem. For some bizzare reason, some franchisors insists on advertising their opportunities with attention grabbing slogans like, “Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?” Don’t fall for them. There are some entrepreneurial things you’ll be doing, but you’re not the true entrepreneur. The inventor of the franchise concept is. Now, there are some opposing views to my line of thinking. This one from former Entrepreneur magazine managing editor, Rieva Lesonsky, is pretty darn compelling. It’s too bad I like her so damn much.
  • You read something either online, or in a magazine that said, “you should really take control of your life now.” The article went on to say that “if more people would have the courage to become their own bosses, more people would be able to build wealth.” Upon further investigation, you found out that the article pointed to what sounds like a wonderful vitamin peddling business, and better yet, it’s associated with Donald Trump. WOW! Take control of your life. Spend that $497 to join The Trump Network. (By the way, it’s not even remotely related to the business model of franchising.) It’s a Multi-Level Marketing business. Duh.Please read this short post about network marketing
  • You’ve finally found a business partner. Congratulations. Crack out the Dom Perignon. Seriously now. You’re going to open a franchise business up because a “business partner” suddenly appeared on the scene? How well do you know this person? Is at least a relative of yours? Do you know about all of the fun legal stuff you’ll have to do? Read This BusinessWeek post. Basically, if you don’t need a partner, try to avoid one. If you do need a partner, make sure that he or she has some skills that you don’t. That way you can compliment each other.

I hope that the examples I just presented above gave you some food for thought.

For the right person, at the right stage of their life, with enough of a financial cushion, who’s not too entrepreneurial, and who isn’t buying into the latest hot thing, investing in a franchise may be a great thing.

Do This Right

Joel was a great help in helping me determine the best franchise fit for. He walked me through the process, all the while understanding the variety of nerves and emotions one deals with when buying a franchise. He also offers continuous support in any way he can. It was pleasure working with him, and I am thrilled with my franchise selection.” Leslie Selig, Franchise Owner


There are lots of franchise business horror stories out there. I’ll bet that all of those ex-franchisees who’ve lost their homes, their savings, and more, didn’t use the techniques that I teach.

Please add your comments, below. I’m really interested in why you have bought a franchise. (Or are considering it.) Also, if you know someone who really needs to read this post, pass it on. That’s one of the reasons I wrote it.




  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Hi Joel,
    One tip I was given was to speak to others who’ve been down this road first.
    This is so important before you undertake any new business venture.
    Great post, by the way.
    Ivan

  • Australianfranchises

    This is really a great information for the people who own a franchises and almost every thing about  marketing and many tips which helps to run the business successfully. Thanks for sharing and keep on updating the good work.
     

  • http://www.CAfranchiseopportunities.com/franchise-business-model/ franchise business model

    These all information is really helpful to me because i also want buy a franchise business. These all reason is really informative to us and choosing famous and best company can make profit for investors.

  • Heather Stone

    Joel,
    Thanks for sharing this post with the BizSugar community. I guess examining reason number one, I’m wondering, what’s the typical break even time or how long does it take the average franchise to become successful anyway? I’m guessing it’s not the kind of thing that a person lacking a job or another source of income can wait out, is it? I’m imagining it would be some time before expenses are paid off and the whole thing becomes profitable.

    • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

      Heather,

      You are 100% correct.

      The 1st year in a start-up franchise is usually of the non-profit variety.

      Break even may happen during those first 12 months; it depends on a lot of things.

      it can be a difficult transition…from employee to employer. It’s not for everyone, but for the right person, with enough money-and patience, franchise ownership can rock!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      The Franchise King®

  • calvin

    I wish I had spoken with someone like Joel before I signed on the dotted line.  Horror story yes!  I wish I had never bought the franchise I had bought.  I live so far below the level I had 5 years ago.  If you buy a franchise make sure you investigate the heck out of it.  They tell you to do your due diligence.   If you uncover one roach you know they have hundreds more.   Franchising is a bad way to go.  Work for the franchise you plan to buy……you’ll never buy it.  Build your own business, you’ll lose a little at the start, but you’ll lose so much more by franchising over time.

    • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

      Thanks for the comment.

      Due diligence is key, but one “roach” doesn’t mean there are more.

      Way too many people that I’ve worked with over the years flee from an opportunity after hearing one bad story.

      Contact many franchisees. That’s the only way that you’ll get the facts.

      JL

  • Gloria

    Spot on Joel!
    As a 35+ yr multi-unit QSR franchisee, I have a good giggle when people feel the need to inform me, “Yah, don’t know much about the restaurant biz but I’ve been thinking about owning a dozen or so of these.” And if that isn’t a definite giveaway of the uninformed mind, then there’s,”Oh, and by the way, just how many hours do you work in these things?” To which we reply,”All of them!”

    • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

      Thanks a lot for popping by, Gloria.

      It IS amazing.

      Personally, I think some people are just hoping to get lucky.

      JL

  • farid

    dear King i want to buy way back franchise for UAE please give me your idea what do i do to be successful and what is your idea