I just finished my yearly sit-down with Fiona Franslam, who’s my favorite psychic. This year’s one-hour-in-person session focusing on “the top franchises for 2019” was quite revealing…
(Disclosure: Fiona sometimes serves as my part-time virtual assistant. All I have to do is think of her, and she magically appears. It’s a little thing we have.)
Now that I’ve satisfied all of the FTC’s disclosure requirements for a post like this, it’s time to get serious.
The Top 467 Franchises
The first question you probably have is this one;
“Joel, where did you come up with #467?”
“I’m glad you asked. I pulled it out of my
as_ …Crown. ”
Kidding. Fiona came up with 467.
You have another question, don’t you? I thought so.
“Franchise King, is your list the best of the top franchises for 2019 lists?”
“Of course it is. After all, I am The Franchise King®.”
Now, let’s go back to that number-467.
The reason I’ve chosen to write “The Top 467 Franchises For 2019” is because I wanted to really challenge myself this year, mathematically. Plus, I think that reading about the top 100, or even the top 500 franchises for 2019 is kind of…boring.
As a matter of fact, just about every one of the “Top Franchises to Buy” lists that are bound to start appearing in the next month or so from every ad-stuffed franchise business website and/or blog from here to the Philippines, will be boring.
Revealed: These Are The Top 467 Franchises For 2019 (But not really)
Bluntly, I’ve found that most “top franchise” lists are nothingburgers.
On that positive note, here are 5 reasons why almost* every top franchise list is totally useless, and a huge waste of your time.
1. The top 10% of the franchises on these lists rarely change
For example, have you noticed how many times Subway® is named a “top franchise?” Why do you think that is? Do you think that it has anything to do with the fact that it’s 40,000+ units strong? Or, that’s it’s easy to visualize owning a food franchise. But, is it a quality franchise? That’s for you to decide. It’s your money.
There is no question that in my industry, the late Fred DeLuca is a household name. He’s The Guy. Just ask my friend, (and the person who instantly agreed to write the foreword to my franchise book) Rieva Lesonsky. She’s knew him for 20 years. Look
Speaking of Subway, do you really want to own a Subway?
If so, why? Have you ever been in the food business, or are you only interested because you’ve heard of it, been a customer, and/or see it on every top franchise list available to mankind?
That said, a Subway franchise could be right for you. I have no idea. But make sure you’re the right fit for a food franchise. Doing so will increase your chances of success as a franchisee. And, do great franchise research.
Idea: Instead of focusing a lot of your time and energy on those “top franchises” lists, take a few minutes to learn exactly how to buy a franchise.
Suggested Reading: How to Buy a Franchise, Step-by-Step
2. There’s no real due diligence
This Home-Based Franchise Business
Includes 6 Different Profit Centers
Sure, the editorial staff does some basic research on the franchises that are selected to be on their top franchise lists. But, not the kind of research you’ll need to do before you plunk down $150,000 or more into a franchise business of your own.
To be sure, I’m not saying that the franchise opportunities on any of the “top franchise” lists you’ll encounter on your way to The Franchise Promised Land are bad. I’m only suggesting that a list is just a list.
3. The Money Part
Have you ever noticed all the advertisements? Especially in the lists that are online and in print magazines?
Why does this matter?
Because there’s an awful lot of revenue generated by the hundreds of franchisors that have chosen to shell out big advertising dollars to be included next to, above, or underneath a “top franchises for 2019” type of list.
Please notice that I didn’t write that franchisors are paying big dollars to be on one of these lists.
But what I am saying is that there are lots of ads included in most top franchise lists. That means that some of these lists are major revenue-generators. Just knowing that puts you way ahead of franchise seekers who don’t.
In contrast, some top franchise opportunity lists are better than others…and they don’t contain ads. Here’s a good one.
4. Hot Franchises
Those are two of the scariest words in franchising.
To see what I mean, please join me for a quick trip down memory lane. Close your eyes, and think about science class. Do you remember learning about gravity?
Now watch this:
Here’s my take on the science experiment you just watched…
Gravity is real. What goes up must come down.
For instance, hot franchises don’t stay hot forever. As a matter of fact, by the time you’ve heard about them, it may be too late to reap the rewards of a hot franchise’s popularity. But there have been exceptions, like this one.
So, my best advice; if you’re looking at a hot franchise, make sure you’re not getting in too late, and make sure the concept is a good fit for you. (And your local geographical area.)
About Top Franchise Opportunity Lists
5. Franchise lists are never about you
If a list of the top franchises was really about you, your picture would be prominently displayed throughout the list. But they’re not.
(Happy, successful franchisees)
In essence, the pictures you see in franchise lists and the franchise ads that accompany them are there to appeal to your emotions. It’s Marketing 101. Heck, when I add pictures to blog posts, I’m trying to appeal to your emotions. There’s nothing wrong with it. But as a prospective buyer, you need to make sure you’re able to separate fantasy from reality.
The bottom line: all of us want to be happy and successful, but things don’t always work out. (Or they don’t work out as fast as we want them to)
Case in point; all small business owners have tough days. And all start-up business owners, (franchise or not) have to crawl before they walk.
For example, the first year in business can be brutal. The folks pictured above have already made it past their first year…trust me. You’re definitely not going to look like that during your first year in business. As a matter of fact, most of the time you’ll probably look like this.
But you’ll get past it. And, it will be worth it!
Franchise Ownership is Not For Everyone
Buying a franchise isn’t for the faint of heart. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s not supposed to be.
On that note, there’s a saying that goes something like this; “if it was easy, everyone would do it.”
But the fact is, everybody’s not doing it. Serious self-examination is needed, along with a healthy dose of courage.
Do It Right
To do this right, you’ll need to figure out what your top skills are and match them up to a few franchises that seem to be in line with them. Then, once you’ve found them, you need to make sure you investigate them thoroughly. Ask lots of questions. And…
- Don’t rush through the process
- Don’t worry about what’s hot this year
- Don’t pick a franchise to buy just because it’s been named a “Top Franchise“
Only buy a franchise because it makes sense for you, in your specific situation. And make sure that it’s affordable. Don’t forget that you’ll need money to live on for the first few months-at least.
Tip: if you ignore the hype, only look at franchises you can afford, and do your homework, you should be just fine.
What are your thoughts about “top franchises” lists? Have you used them to find the franchise that you’re now the owner of? Let me know.
One more thing: I have no idea what the 467 top franchises are in 2019. And, I really don’t care.
But I do care about helping prospective franchise owners choose the right franchises, and I love teaching them how to do top-notch research.
“Joel Libava is a superior advocate for prospective franchise buyers, and shows total and fierce dedication to protecting their interests. Any potential buyer can consider him/her self in the best of hands when following his guidance.”
– Susie Sharp, Social Zense Media
How to Use a Franchise Opportunity Website
The 10 Commandments of Franchise Research
What You Need To Know About Franchise Consultants/Brokers