Is That a Franchise? Tips on Researching New (or Not-so-New) Brands

research on laptop

Is That a Franchise? Tips on Researching New (or Not-so-New) Brands
When considering the franchising world, there are many different categories to investigate, such as those that range in industry, type of work, types of businesses, and more. That's also what makes business ownership such a viable career – those with all types of interest and skills are out doing various things for a living. While aspects like running books, marketing, etc., might be similar, but when it comes to the businesses themselves, they vary on virtually every angle possible.
So, when it comes to narrowing yours down, it's good to know who else is in the game. And what may or may not exist as a franchise theme. 
To learn if others are privately owned, or if there's a franchise in your area of expertise, take on these research tips. Including:
Do your Research
As simple (and as tedious) as this might sound, it's a method that pays off. Start Googling and see what the Internet has in store for you. Remember that not everything you read online will be trustworthy, but it does serve as a good place to start. As a first step, it allows you to take in a wide variety of information and let it all settle in as you move forward with your researching and speculation process. If it helps, consider this your prep, on which you can follow up with in more detail as you go.
Ask Aggregates
When dealing with outside companies, you can easily gain more information. For instance, signing up with Franchise Opportunities can provide insider access, and more. Stop and ask these contacts what all they know, and you can take an easy path toward finding out more about your potential brand (or their competition).
There are also running databases on top franchises, those who have recently registered, etc. If they exist on paper, you should be able to find out more about them through these venues.
Check Public Listings
There's a surprising amount of information that can be found in online databases or in paper public records. All of which is available for you to read without any legal action. You can access them by heading to your local library or courthouse and asking them to lead you in the right direction. In addition, take note of old newspapers, county records, and more, to gain more information.
Read Customers
If you're involved in your industry of choice, chances are you know a few people. Or at the very least, know where to find others who are interested in the same things. Talk to them and see what they want, and where they get it. They might have a vendor or service already (if not local), which means you can find out who it is. Maybe they purchase online or know a guy a few towns over. Get involved and become friendly to learn more about others' needs, expectations, and most importantly, where they get their goods. (They might know who owns a business and whether it's a franchise, but even if they don't, you can earn some serious leads.)
It's good to get to know others in your industry. Not necessarily customers, however, but those who actually work within the business. You also might come across those who work in a similar industry, or just outside the one you're looking to tackle. Then again, great contacts can come from any level of expertise; you never know who a person might know or what they can help you track down!
Ask Who You Know
Finally, it's time to get in touch with the contacts you already have. Reach deep into your rolodex (even if it's a digital one) and look up friends, family, and acquaintances. If you need an in, invite them to coffee or schedule a meeting to catch up. Others who you're more comfortable with, you can simply cold call and say, "What can you tell me about X?"
Putting these feelers "out there" will also help you in the long run. It will allow folks to understand what you're doing, and therefore, to spread the word. In turn, they will keep you in mind, should an opportunity come up where they can spread your cause.
When learning more about your franchising industry, there are multiple places you can go for information. Be sure to look at all your options and each available resource to learn as much as possible. This will gain you a better understanding of the industry, and of each franchise you can potentially join. 

By Bethaney Wallace | Feb 05, 2018 | General Franchise Information