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Initial Search Completed – More Perplexed Than Ever!

Following is post three (3) in an ongoing series of posts regarding the franchising experience.

FRANCHISEE

Now that I've reviewed the results of my top five paid search results (ads), here’s what I found:
  • Two of the ads were for specific franchise opportunities – one was a wood renewal franchise and the other a healthy vending concept. Both featured websites that were relatively easy-to-navigate and I found it interesting that both also prominently featured video testimonials from existing franchisees. In truth, they were both quite compelling, but neither were concepts that truly resonated with me.
  • The other three sites led me to websites featuring a dizzying array of franchising opportunities including:
    • A list of franchise industries
    • A host of specific franchise opportunities with clickable logos
    • A list of “low cost franchises”
    • A list of “new franchise business opportunities”
    • A few links to general “franchise information”
    • And a search tool designed to provide feedback based on my:
      • Industry selection
      • Investment range
      • State (not my mental state, my geographical state)
Now let’s take a closer look at what came up in the “organic” section of my search:
  • Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual ranking of America’s top franchise opportunities (the “Entrepreneur 2014 Franchise 500®.” http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500/index.html Although this was a very interesting list and I literally spent hours perusing the information, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and options. In did notice, however, that the “Top 10 Franchises for 2014 were all very well known brands, and I filed that little tidbit of information away for future reference.
  • Franchising.com was a fascinating site that appeared to be an amalgamation of franchise opportunities, franchise-related news, franchise law and a very interesting “resources” page. I bookmarked this site for future usage, as it appeared to have links to virtually every franchise-related resource imaginable. www.franchising.com
  • Franchise.org (www.franchise.org) led me to the website for the International Franchise Association (IFA), which describes itself as, “the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide.” This site provided a plethora of resources as well, and I was particularly impressed with the “IFA Store” section, which featured a large selection of franchising-related books. Hmmmmm, perhaps it would be a good idea if I purchased a couple of books on franchising before I take the plunge? EDITOR’S NOTE – Ya think?!!
  • The other two sites were similar to what I found in the paid ads section; one was for a specific franchise opportunity, and the other was a “franchise opportunity” site that looked virtually identical to the other franchise opportunity sites I had seen, with the exception of a slightly different “skin.” 
Since each of the five sites appeared in the “organic” section of my search, my assumption is that these sites are more heavily trafficked than others, and that’s why they showed up organically. Who, knows? Perhaps these sites just had some great SEO going for them; however I must say that the majority of the sites that popped up organically appeared to be a bit more credible than the paid sites.

After playing around on these sites for a few weeks, not only are my eyes bleeding - I still don’t have a clue what I’d like to own. How am I possibly supposed to figure out which of these franchises opportunities are legit, and which are just people looking to make a buck???




FRANCHISOR

Now that I've reviewed the results of my top five paid search results (ads), here’s what I found:
  • Interestingly enough, every single one of the paid ads that appeared featured specific companies that specialize in helping people to franchise businesses. Looks like I struck gold with my search words!

Although many of these sites looked quite credible, I’m still having some difficulty trying to figure out which, if any, I’d like to work with.
  • On the organic side of the house, my experience was very different. Of the five websites that appeared, three featured articles detailing how to franchise a business (or IF I should franchise my business). One featured a website that was virtually identical to the sites that showed up in the paid search section, and one was essentially a hybrid of the two. 

So here’s what’s become clear (as mud) to me so far. If I’m going to embark on this adventure, I’d better have a VERY good understanding of exactly what I’m getting myself into. Becoming a franchisor does not appear to be an endeavor for the faint of heart.

EDITOR’S NOTE – Joe Mathews, the Founding Partner of Franchise Performance Group recently wrote a very interesting on his blog titled, “Why do Franchisors Fail?” http://www.franchiseperformancegroup.com/franchising-failed-model/  Joe’s article has since generated quite a bit of interest in the franchise community, particularly with regard to the somewhat eye-popping sums that a several franchisors have indicated would be prudent for optimal capitalization.

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