There are several ways to find franchises for sale.
In a previous post, I wrote about finding franchise and business opportunities at franchise shows and franchise expos. The great thing about attending them is that you can get a little eye contact. In other words, you can get out of the house, and actually interact with franchise representatives. Because if your in the house, you’re probably in the zone; The Internet Zone.
It’s certainly not very difficult to search for franchises online. Now, it’s not exactly intimate, but maybe it just doesn’t have to be. However, it can easily become overwhelming.
You can search for opportunities in franchise ownership online a few different ways, but for this post, I’m going to focus on one.
Franchise Opportunity Websites
There are hundreds of them, and it will take some time to find the ones that you like. I happen to have lots of experience with franchise business directories. One of my experiences was as a customer. The franchise brokerage outfit that I was with a few years ago insisted on buying “leads.” (Leads are the actual names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of people interested in franchises that freely gave this information to the franchise directories.) As a franchise broker, (past tense) I had to buy these leads, so that I would have someone to call and offer my matchmaking services too. That didn’t work out so well.
The reason that buying leads didn’t work out too well was because some of the franchise directories that the franchise brokerage had contracted with were in the business of selling leads. In other words, some directories aggressively encouraged would-be franchise owners to submit to several different franchise opportunities at once. Several. That way, the franchise directories could make more money. Franchisors like us paid per lead. So, if you, (the prospective franchise owner) filled out a form for let’s say, Blimpie, Subway, Franchoice, and our franchise brokerage, the owners of the franchise directory was able to charge 4 times-for the same lead. Now, most directories still charge per lead, and that’s fine. But, don’t jam the “go ahead and request information from 3 more franchises” down the throats of unsuspecting consumers. Here’s why;
So, I’d pay for my lead. (I really dislike that word.) I’d call the prospective franchise buyer. About 30% of the time, here’s how the phone calls would go;
Franchise Buyer: ”Hello.”
Me: ”Hi! This is Joel Libava, and I’m calling about the information you requested concerning owning a franchise business. How are you doing today?”
Franchise buyer: ”I’m doing okay, I guess. What franchise did you say you were from?”
Me: ”Well, Tom…I’m actually a franchise consultant, and I provide a free service that can match you to some great franchises.”
Franchise buyer: “Do you work with Blimpie Subs Shops?”
Me: ”Well, I don’t actually, our company works with over 150 different…”
Franchise buyer: “That’s great, I guess, but I’m only interested in a Blimpie Sub Shop. How did you get my name?”
Me: ”You probably filled out a form at one of the franchise directories, and that’s how I got your name and phone number.”
Franchise buyer: ”Well, if you can’t help me with a Blimpie Sub Shop, I’m not interested in talking to you. Don’t call back.”
Click. So, basically this person filled out a form to learn about Blimpie, but his name was also sold to me. (Sometimes, the prospective franchise owner wouldn’t even have to fill out a form asking for help from someone like me. )
After about a year of doing that fun exercise, I called a friend of mine, and asked him to pop over and film a bunch of us ex-franchise brokers showing our frustration with what’s called, “Dialing for Dollars.’
I definitely recommend using good franchise directories to locate opportunities in franchise ownership. The good ones don’t hammer on you to keep filling out more and more forms. Searching for the right franchise to buy shouldn’t have to be about a franchise directory’s business model. It needs to be about you, and why you decided to visit their website in the first place.
Don’t fill out numerous “Request More Information” forms on franchise directory-type websites unless you’re really interested in learning more about a specific franchise concept. It’s just a waste of time. Your time.