chickadee landing on birder's hand.

Deciding on the right franchise opportunity for you is a big deal. After all, most franchise agreements are about 10 years. Making this kind of commitment of your time and money means you really want to ensure you select a business that suits you. Here are some ideas to determine how to choose the right franchise.

What Makes a Good Franchise Opportunity?

If you are new to franchising, no doubt it can be overwhelming. Based on numbers from the International Franchise Association, there are now more than 800,000 franchise units in the U.S. and thousands of industries for you to choose from as a prospective franchisee. While that’s a good sign, investment-wise, it does affirm that you’ve got to narrow the search.

Step One- Ask Yourself 5 Important Questions

1. What are my goals? For some folks, franchise ownership can just be about an investment, and for


others it can be about being in control of your life, career and financial future. Part of figuring out how to choose a franchise is knowing what you hope to gain from the experience.

2. What do I enjoy doing? If you are making the bold move to exercise your entrepreneurial spirit, you might as well put your efforts into something you love or you’re passionate about. Many people choose to extend their hobbies into a gainful business opportunity.

3. What am I good at? No matter what you choose to do, it’s always easier to be within your wheelhouse. While most franchises provide ample training opportunities to prepare you for business, it can make the journey a bit easier if you have some background in the industry you choose.

4. What type of work-life balance am I looking for? Figure out what type of flexibility you want. Some franchise owners are not interested in the day-to-day operations of the business, others want to dive right in and be hands-on. Determine what works best for you. Look for a franchise that meets your needs and provides the improved quality of life you’re looking for.

5. Am I financially ready? Know your budget. Most franchises will require that you have a set amount of cash on hand and a net worth requirement. This is the time to really understand what you will be able to afford to get into business. Plus, get your paperwork in order, perhaps meet with your accountant to devise a financial plan for your new business. Be prepared to have a credit check done especially if you will need obtain a loan to finance your business.

Step Two—Franchise Evaluation

Now that you know what you’re looking for from your franchise experience, it makes the choices clearer


. Here are a few things to consider about the franchise you choose.

· Look for industries that are thriving, trending, and growing. This will require research to look at long-term growth potential. Consider market demand, competition, and the scalability of the business model. Use reliable franchise directories, online resources, and industry reports to gather information.

· When determining how to choose a franchise, thoroughly review a franchisor’s finances. Examine their franchise disclosure documents (FDD) to understand the terms and

conditions, initial investment requirements, ongoing fees, and franchisee obligations. It’s also beneficial to speak with current franchisees to gain insights into their experiences and satisfaction with the franchise.

· Look at the training and on-going support provided by the franchisor. Evaluate the training programs, operational support, marketing assistance, and ongoing guidance offered by the franchise. Assess the level of support you can expect and ensure it aligns with your needs and expectations. You should clearly see that the franchisor is looking out for your success.

· Look at your financial commitment. Consider the initial investment costs, ongoing fees (such as royalties or advertising contributions), and potential return on investment. Review the financial projections provided by the franchisor and analyze the profitability potential of the business.

As you research how to choose a franchise, be on the look-out for red flags. For instance, rely on evaluations from franchise owners. Look at the track record of franchise unit closures. Look for growth; if the franchise hasn’t added units in a few years, that is not a good sign. Get a sense of whether or not the franchisor is interested in your success or simply gaining more units. And look for any possible litigation against the brand.

Step Three- The Search is Over

Looking for an ownership experience that brings joy, allows you to engage with customers and provides opportunity for financial growth? Wild Birds Unlimited has been in business for 40 years with 350 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. We are a niche industry, carving out a name for ourselves as an award-winning franchise because we have been committed to strengthening our brand and maintaining high standards.

As a franchise owner, you will become an expert source on birding, giving advice and suggestions to your customers. This is a lucrative industry with the number of bird-watching enthusiasts growing considerably over the years. Consumer demand coupled with the brand recognition of Wild Birds Unlimited makes this a strong investment for you.

If you are ready to come fly with us, fill out our form and we will be in touch, to discuss what it takes to join our flock.