A Guide to Researching the Best Franchise Opportunities


Franchise opportunities can be an excellent option for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. However, not all franchise opportunities are created equal. Thorough due diligence is a crucial part of researching the best franchise opportunity to fit your interests, skills, and long-term goals.

The franchise business model offers numerous benefits. These include access to a proven business model, established franchise brand recognition, marketing, sales, and advertising support, and ongoing support from the franchisor.

With these advantages, franchise businesses can be an attractive option for individuals who want to invest in a new business opportunity but may not have the experience to start a new business themselves from scratch.

So read on to find out how to go about uncovering the best franchise opportunity for you.

Researching Different Industries

Finding the perfect franchise opportunity can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Exploring different industries can help narrow your search and find the ideal franchise business for you.

Franchising offers entrepreneurs diverse industries to explore, such as retail, food service, and home-based small businesses too.

Researching different industries also provides valuable insights into trends, consumer demand, and competition when evaluating new franchise opportunities and brands.

Choosing the Sector and Local Factors

You might already have some idea of what kind of business or franchise model would be best for your first step into franchise ownership based on the skills and experience that you already have.

For example, people who have worked in restaurants in the past often decide that they will go into the restaurant sector. This gives them business and marketing assistance and the advantage of a familiar brand name.

This is quite an obvious fit for someone but if you don’t have such a clear-cut idea of what business you think you might look at, the choices can be a little overwhelming.

Product and Service Demand

If you have some idea of the area you’re interested in you should consider whether there is already a significant amount of demand in existence for the service.

Is this a seasonal demand, such as lawn and garden care, or for maintenance of swimming pools? Are these products only going to be profitable as long as they are in season, or will there be a constant amount of demand throughout the year?

Is this a demand that will be temporary in nature, such as a fad food item or a new toy, or will it continue once the fad has passed? Will it generate repeat business?

Competitors and Competition

What levels of competition will your new franchise business face, both on a community-based and national level? How many outlets does your prospective franchisor own in your local market area, including both franchised outlets and company-owned outlets?

Are competing firms selling the same or similar products or services? Are they well-established and have wide name recognition within your area or community?

Do they offer the same or similar products at prices that are the same as yours, or even lower?

Once you’ve honed in on some ideas go out in your community and speak to people working in the sector. Collect leaflets, look at their websites and social media, notice their sign-written vehicles etc.

You’ll be surprised at how you start noticing the presence (or absence) of other businesses, once you start thinking seriously about it. This will go a long way to informing you about the viability of setting up something in your chosen area.

Franchise Industry Associations

The UK government doesn’t regulate the franchising industry, which can lead to some unscrupulous franchisors taking advantage of unsuspecting franchisees.

British Franchise Association | Abingdon

To address this, franchise industry associations offer accreditation to franchise companies that operate to a set of ethical standards. They help to ensure that franchisors and franchisees work together in a mutually beneficial and transparent way.

They are a great resource for learning about different franchise industries and provide in-depth information and insights into standards, regulations, and best practices for franchise owners.

Some examples of UK franchise associations include the British Franchise Association (BFA) and the Quality Franchise Association (QFA). Both of these provide accreditation, support and resources for both franchisors and franchisees.

The British Franchise Association is the largest franchise association in the UK, offering a range of services to its members, including training, events, and legal support. The QFA is a smaller association but still offers valuable support and accreditation to its members.

You can find out more information about Franchise Industry Associations and how you might use them in your franchise research for the perfect franchise in our article What Are Franchise Associations?

Franchise Directories

Franchise directories are a vital tool for finding and researching franchise opportunities. These directories provide comprehensive listings of different franchises, along with detailed information about the franchisor, investment requirements, and other essential details for buying a franchise.

We would be remiss in failing to mention the most comprehensive franchise directory in the UK:

  • Find My Franchise of course!
  • Find My Franchise is a comprehensive directory of UK-based franchises, with detailed information on each franchise opportunity and specific brands.
  • Articles and resources for potential franchisees, including information on financing and legal requirements are also offered.
  • The directory makes it fast and easy to find and inquire about multiple franchises all in one place.
  • Just fill out one form and get connected with the franchises you’re interested in!
  • Put an end to visiting multiple franchisor websites. Save yourself loads of time and start your franchise exploration journey today!

Market Research Reports

These research reports can help you gain insights into sector performance, identify areas of opportunity, and make informed decisions about which franchise industry to invest in. Some popular market research providers include:

Online Resources

Make use of the power of the Internet and find out everything you can about the franchise world.

There are message boards and email groups that you can join that are filled with existing franchisees and franchisors who can give you a personal perspective on a franchise system before you make any commitments or decisions

In addition, you may find you can attend specialist seminars either online or locally, attend franchise expos, shows or exhibitions and even a discovery day by a franchisor you may be specifically interested in. Below are some links you may find useful:

Business Forums

business forums

There is now a plethora of excellent online business forums available in the UK which are fantastic for franchise research.

The message boards on UK Business Forum, for example, is a long-established website containing many threads about franchising in general. Be aware though that sometimes disgruntled franchisees may be on these and seek to deliberately disparage a franchisor.

Also, there are often people who make much about franchising being a waste of money because you can easily set up on your own and not have to pay fees. This is clearly one side of the decision-making process and there are many factors that counter this argument to consider.

Apart from the benefits mentioned earlier, there are many more advantages for people who use business forums.

  • Business Referrals
  • Promotion
  • Socialisation

Business forums are a fantastic way to develop your company and support other business owners, from simple idea exchanges to getting the advice you need and sharing your own experiences with others who need your help.

Please note: None of the above constitutes financial and/or legal advice. We advise people to seek their own professional advice suited to their personal circumstances. You can find franchise specialist legal and accounting services in our directory.

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