Years ago, people used things called public libraries to do research on a variety of things, including washing machines, and franchise opportunities. Libraries housed books and magazines that were available for people like you to use for whatever it was that you were researching at the time.
If you wanted to research a washing machine for instance, you could go to the periodical section, and search through back issues of magazines such as Consumer Reports, to see what their reporters had to say about the different models.
You could learn the specifications of the washing machines you were interested in; the load size, information on the motor, and some reliability scores. It was actually an easy process….
Once you were done comparing the different washing machines, you and your spouse would march into two or three different appliance stores, and try to get the best price on the one you ended up choosing. Then you bought it.
If you did your research correctly, most likely you ended up with a pretty good washing machine, (Maybe even a Maytag) it did what is was supposed to do, and didn't need to get fixed. You succeeded in keeping the Maytag repairman really bored.
Before the internet, if you were thinking about becoming your own boss, and possibly looking into becoming a franchise owner, you could go to your local public library, and find some good books about franchising, and learn about the business model itself. That was a good start, anyway. (Nowadays, you can actually learn about the business model of franchising from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere that there's an internet connection. franchise marketing!)
But actually researching specific franchises was a tad more challenging (and still is) than researching the purchase of a brand new washing machine.
It's not like you can open up the latest Consumer Reports and compare franchise opportunities side by side, like a washing machine!
And, it's not like you can go into two or three retail stores and compare the prices of the different franchises you're thinking of buying.
(Actually, there's a new franchise concept out, that may just win "The Most Idiotic Franchise Of The Month" award. These nimrods actually are trying to sell franchises out of a retail storefront. Read about it)
There are places to compare franchise opportunities, and most of them (big surprise) can be found online. Of course there are a few magazines that do once a year top 100, top 500 type reports, and you can certainly do some basic comparing there. But, you can't really get into the real meat of the different franchise opportunities out there without asking the right questions, (at the right times) in the franchise research process.
A gentle tip from The Franchise King®:
Do not buy a franchise until you know EXACTLY how to do thorough research.
Learn how here
Buying a franchise isn't really like going out to buy a washing machine. If you make a mistake on your choice in washing machines, if you really have to, you can just go out and buy another one.
Investing $200,000 of your own money in a franchise business is an entirely different ballgame. If you make an error or two in your research, you could lose your entire investment. (Or worse)
I'm going to be blunt here;
If you've never in your life, researched a franchise business that you're seriously thinking of buying, this isn't the time to let your ego do the thinking or the talking!
In other words, if someone asks you if you know how to research a franchise, don't answer with a yes! You don't! (And it's ok.)
This is not the time to think you know how to do the proper franchise research.
Check out this eBook!
"Joel and I share a passion for helping prospective franchisees look past the hype by encouraging them to investigate a franchise opportunity thoroughly before investing. Joel's ebook is great for anyone who takes their investigation and research seriously. The rich content and practical advice is invaluable. " -Rush Nigut, Franchisee attorney
** If you don't find the information I share in the eBooks truly valuable, drop me an email, or give mea call, and I'll promptly refund your money.
I'd like to make sure that you research the franchise that you end up buying so well, it will never need a major repair.