Back in 2007 when my wife and I decided to pursue buying a franchise, I was excited about the opportunity to hit reset on our careers. We started researching franchise models, but were quickly overwhelmed. There were literally thousands of concepts. Kids franchises, sports franchises, restaurant, service, etc., etc. We decided that to get anywhere, we had to get our decision criteria down on paper. My wife and I brainstormed our “must haves”, “nice to haves”, and “can’t haves” and came up with a list that looked something like the following criteria for buying a franchise:
Our Original Criteria for Buying a Franchise
- Quick cash conversion – we wanted a cash flow model in which we got paid for the product/service up front;
- No business to business selling – we had no desire to cold call businesses;
- Work/life balance – I wanted time with my wife and our two year old daughter;
- Low cost franchise opportunity – We wanted a business with a low initial investment;
- Had to be in line with our passions – I am not a person that can be successful at a business I don’t personally like. I need something that I can get up and be passionate about every day;
- Home based business – We did not want a store front retail type location;
- Well thought out franchise business opportunity and model.
Using this list, we narrowed the list of potential franchises to a workable level. As we continued to hone in on the list, we decided a kids franchise opportunity was what we wanted and then on we went until ultimately we chose i9 Sports.
If you are seriously considering buying a franchise, I strongly recommend that you take the time to develop your own list of key criteria so that you will know when you have found the right franchise business opportunity for your specific needs. Start with “must haves”, then go to “nice to haves”, then go to “must not haves”. Ask yourself tough questions about what you want and why. Be open, be flexible, and be honest when creating this list. Also, be ready to change it as you learn more. It is ok if your criteria are a work in progress.
Final note: You will note our criteria for buying a franchise did not include a “must have” income goal. We believed then and still believe now that if a business had a solid, full-time model for making money and also met our other criteria, then we would be able to realize our financial goals. Time has proven us right on this belief.
What does your list look like?