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How to Find a Franchise Business to Buy

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 1 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Franchise Franchise Opportunities

The rapid growth of the franchise market over the last ten years has meant that the number of franchise businesses available has also exploded. To support this vast number of businesses online and offline, directory services and brokerages have evolved.

As you search for your ideal franchise, these directories are an ideal place to start. Once you have a shortlist of potential franchise business candidates you can then begin to investigate each franchise opportunity in more detail.

Franchise directories

Traditional directories like Dalton’s Weekly still maintain a share of the commercial market for business sales, but the Internet has had a massive impact on how directory information is now accessed, none more so than directories of businesses for sale. The main directories to find a franchise for sale include:

The UK Franchise Directory

The Franchise Shop

Find a Franchise

FDS Franchise

Business for Sale

Franchise Direct

Franchise UK

Franchise Sales

Which Franchise

Dalton Business

Franchise brokers

Just like any broker offering a service, whether you use this method of locating a franchise will depend on your specific needs. Brokers can save you huge amounts of time as they have vast databases of available franchises they can draw on. They can also often be the first to hear about new franchises that are about to come onto the open market. This can give you a head start if you are looking for an unusual franchise, or want a business that is unique in the marketplace.

With access to the Internet and the vast resources this can bring to a potential franchisee, the fees that a broker will charge could be high, but the savings in time and the potential first look at new franchises could be worth their fee. Look closely at the track record of any broker you are thinking of using, try and talk to a few of their past clients to gauge their professionalism.

Brokers can, however, come into their own if you are looking for a franchise business overseas. Many entrepreneurs use franchising as a way of not only stepping into business for themselves, but also moving out of their home country.

The ready-made business format that is at the core of the franchise market can make this a reality. Brokers know their local market and so can give you valuable on-site market information that you simply wouldn’t normally have access to.

Franchise exhibitions and tradeshows

The chance to meet hundreds of franchisers under one roof can be a superb way of gaining initial information, but also a means of instantly comparing franchise opportunities. You can ask questions and obtain an insight into the franchise on offer.

The key to successfully using franchise tradeshows is to attend prepared. The more pre-planning you do, the more successful your visit will be. The franchisers that will be attending are detailed well in advance giving you time to do any background checks you would like to perform before actually meeting the franchiser face-to-face.

It’s also a good idea to try and pre-book some time with the franchisers you are particularly interested in as these tradeshows can be extremely busy.

Franchising and the BFA

The British Franchise Association [www.thebfa.org] is the leading trade body for the Franchise industry as a whole. New franchisees can use the BFA’s extensive directory of members that have a track record in the franchise industry. This vetting procedure is ideal for newcomers to the world of franchising as you can be confident that the franchisers that you are talking to have a background that can be vouched for.

Membership of the BFA can also be advantageous as you have more extensive access to the BFA’s unique databases and also a source of help and advice when you need it. The preliminary stages of buying a franchise license can be most crucial. The support of the BFA can give you the confidence to choose the right franchise for you.

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