Other franchising research sources to help you make an investment decision

Franchising research sources of information

Franchise Directories

Several different franchise directories list most of the franchising companies currently offering franchises, however, just because a franchisor is included in one of the directories doesn’t mean that the information is complete or accurate, as many of the directories do not independently verify the information the franchisor provides.

Directories are the starting place for your franchising research and examination, a place to get very basic information. These guides are one of the best places to begin your examination because they give you a capsule of information on each company listed.

Franchise Opportunities Guide: Published by the International Franchise Association (IFA), this guide lists the trade association’s member companies, franchise lawyers, consultants, and other suppliers, as well as descriptive sections on franchise statistics, other publications, and educational affiliates. In addition, the publication contains articles written by professionals in the industry.

Franchise Update Publications: This Magazine Publishing Group prints a variety of franchise guides, including The Executives’ Guide to Franchise Opportunities, Food Service Guide to Franchise Opportunities, and The Guide to Multiple-Unit Franchise Opportunities. They also publish Franchise UPDATE magazine, a leading trade and management publication targeted to the professionals in the industry. Franchise Update’s publications are a must read. A good Franchising Research source.

Bond’s Franchise Guide: Published by Robert Bond. This guide is updated annually and offers a comprehensive listing of franchise companies operating in the United States and Canada. It includes detailed profiles of more than 1,000 franchisors listed by name, address, and contact person.

The Franchise Handbook: This guide is a quarterly directory of companies currently franchising, along with key information about them; it also offers articles, success stories, and so on.

Consumer Business Publications

Some of these companies and resources include the following: Entrepreneur; Fortune Small Business; Franchise Times; Franchise Update; Franchising World; Inc.; National Business Exchange; Nation's Restaurant News; The Business Resale Network.

Trade Shows and Expositions

International Franchise Expo: The International Franchise Association (IFA) sponsors the International Franchise Expo (IFE). These shows are the largest gatherings in the world of franchise companies actively seeking new franchisees. If you’re interested in seeing what current franchising trends exist and want the opportunity to meet face-to-face with hundreds of franchisors in a single day, seriously consider attending a Franchise Expo, held annually on both the east and west coasts of the United States.

Some of the top professionals in the industry regularly conduct educational programs on franchising at the IFE, making it a great place to educate you about franchising.

National Franchise & Business Opportunities: Events are held in various cities throughout the year in the United States and Canada. These shows combine both franchises and business opportunities.

Franchisors like trade shows because the shows give them a chance to show-and-tell, as well as do some on-site pre-qualification of interested parties. Good franchisors want to know as much about you as possible as quickly as possible, so no one ends up wasting anyone else’s time.

Under no circumstances do you actually buy a franchise at a trade show. The franchisor can’t legally sell you a franchise-even if you want one-at the trade show. Franchisors must follow certain rules regarding the offer and sale of franchises, and one of those rules requires that the franchisor give you a copy of its UFOC and give you time to review the information.

The Internet

The Internet provides a showcase for franchise companies and can be a useful avenue of basic franchising research information.

Franchise.org: Of all the franchise-focused Web sites, franchise.org likely offers the most franchise-only information in one location. The companies listed are members of the IFA and subscribe to the IFA’s Code of Ethics. This site also includes hundreds of free articles, including the “FTC Guide To Buying a Franchise.”

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