The beauty of buying a decent franchise is that there are so many great business ideas to choose from. Home based entrepreneurs can establish their own business in a range of sectors using the Internet as a platform. While this has given rise to a number of success stories, the practise is not without its pitfalls, which is why it is important to be aware of franchise scams.
With so many franchise opportunities available, it's important to do your homework and exercise common sense. If something sounds too good to be true - perhaps the franchisor is claiming you will receive huge profits in a short space of time - it most probably is. Essentially, the success to buying a decent franchise is in the hard work and prior research, while you shouldn't expect to make wads of cash from the off.
Once you've identified your preferred industry or sector, you'll need to choose a potential franchisor. Do some online research on both the industry and the brand. What's their background and what is their management structure? Does it have much competition from franchised and non franchised rivals?
Try to find out as much information as you possibly can. It's a good idea to find out whether the potential franchisor has any lawsuits filed against it. Consider getting in touch with other franchisees that may be able to tell you their experience of working with a particular company. Remember that scam businesses are sneaky, so if something has gone wrong in the past, an organisation may have changed its name.
Once your concerns and curiosities have been satisfied, it's time to contact the company. Among the first things to ask your chosen business's representative is how it goes about selecting franchisees. If it becomes clear that the company sells franchises for a third party, this should be taken as a warning. The meeting is your chance to undertake a comprehensive evaluation, and a lack of an in-person appointment should be taken as another warning sign. Bear in mind the company representative's status - are they an employee or an outsourced sales person? If it's the latter, the franchise system may not be all it's cracked up to be.
Selecting a franchise opportunity isn't easy, but don't be tempted by taking a shortcut with 'get rich quick' adverts - particularly those that appear on the internet. Another thing to be wary of is franchisors that are pushy - perhaps they are offering you a limited time deal and are trying to rush you into a decision. If you do not take your time, you may well find yourself entering into a business agreement that you'll only regret further down the line.
When you're happy with your franchise agreement, it's time to sign that all important contract. Any money that you are promised needs to be put in writing - if the agreement is verbal, there will be no guarantee that you will make a worthwhile return. It is good practise to have a lawyer read through the contract before it's signed, even if you are confident that you understand all the terms and conditions.