(This is a guest post from Fred Leo, a business coach whose home on the Internet is SoloBizCoach.com)
One of the fastest ways to become your own boss is to buy a franchise, but finding the franchise that is right for you (and the right information) can be a tough task. There are so many franchises and business opportunities that it can become overwhelming. Well, here are some of the best resources that I have found to help aspiring franchisees.
1. California Electronic Access to Securities Information Database (Cal-EASI) – Before a franchisor can offer its franchise to buyers in the United States they need to file Franchise Disclosure Document with the Federal Trade Commission and in each state where they are intending to offer their franchise for sale. One state that makes these filings available for download online is the State of California at its Cal-EASI Database. Using this database you can find any franchise disclosure documents filed in California.
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2. SBA Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise – The SBA’s mission is to help Americans build and grow small businesses. Franchises are a very important segment of the American small business community. The SBA Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise will help you to understand what you need to know about franchising before you purchase, how to select a franchise, and how to invest in a franchise.
3. 48Days.net – 48Days.net is a community for anyone trying to find work they love. This is my favorite community on the Internet. Almost all of the content on this site is created by the community members (over 6,000 members I think). The blogs, groups and discussion forums have some of the best discussion about self-employment.
4. SCORE.org – SCORE is an awesome resource for any aspiring business owner, not just franchisees. But, since it is such a great resource, I needed to include it here too. SCORE is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed in business. There are so many valuable resources at score.org, but I would like to highlight one in particular – mentoring. The volunteers at SCORE (over 13,000) will meet with you for one-on-one consulting. This is an excellent resource for anyone thinking about buying a franchise.
5. Joel Libava, the Franchise King® – While some of you might think I am just sucking up, the site you’re on now is an invaluable resource for aspiring franchisees. Start by checking out these must-reads. Too often we only read the latest blog posts of our favorite bloggers. But, don’t miss out on the archived articles. There’s gold in them hills. After you have read through all of Joel’s archives, watch one of Joel’s better videos for franchise buyers.
I hope that these online resources help you to find the franchise that is right for you. That is the key. You need to find a business that fits your interests, strengths, and passions. When you find that business, you have hit gold.
(Fred Leo helps aspiring entrepreneurs create awesome businesses. He has over ten years experience as a business attorney, and he has built two successful online businesses. If you’d like to learn about Fred’s coaching, visit SoloBizCoach.com.)