For those who have dreamed of owning their own business, a franchise can offer the perfect opportunity to get started. But first, you need to match your skill set with current market trends, and of course consider the financial angle of things.

Establishing a franchise is a big undertaking, but these ten tips can give you an outline of the steps you should consider.

Step One: Evaluate your own skills. What are you good at? What is your knowledge base? What are your special talents and interests? Most people want to venture into a market that they feel passionate about, and this is generally a good place to start.

Step Two: Consider your comfort with using someone else’s business model. The great thing about franchises is that someone has done a lot of the work for you, regarding the establishment of a business model. The downside, of course, is that you’ll be doing everything as someone else designed it. If you’re an independent spirit with strong opinions about things, not all franchises will be a good fit for you.

Step Three: Get support. Opening a franchise will demand a lot of your time and energy. Make sure your family and other loved ones are on board and ready to support you.

Step Four: Compile a net worth statement. The franchise representative will be asking for it anyway, but you also need to have a solid idea of your own capability.

Step Five: Network with other franchise owners. These are the people who truly give you inside information. Learn from those who are already doing it, ask plenty of questions, and spend a day or two on the job with them if you can.

Step Six: Research thoroughly. Not only should you spend time talking to owners of several different franchises; try to visit franchise locations of the business you’re considering, if you can. Research the market for that product and consider current trends and predictions. This is a big decision, so bring everything you can to the table.

Step Seven: Read the Franchise Disclosure Document – twice. Read the entire document, take notes, highlight things that concern you, and make a list of questions to ask the representative. You simply cannot be too prepared for this decision.

Step Eight: Visit the franchise headquarters. Did you know that you can visit the franchise headquarters, meet the executives, and talk to the support team in person? You’re considering a major life change, so make the investment in this trip.

Step Nine: Hire a franchise attorney and a CPA. A franchise attorney is someone you definitely need on your team. A franchise attorney can explain your rights and obligations, as well as anything you don’t understand about the Franchise Disclosure Document. And of course, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can help you with the financial side of things, along with tax issues.

Step Ten: Do some soul searching. No life-changing decision is strictly based in logic. After you’ve gathered and analyzed all the data, it’s time to check in with yourself. How do you really feel about this venture? Take the time to really check in with your intuition and follow your gut feelings.

Hopefully, Parlay Cafe is one of the up-and-coming new franchises you’re considering. As you move through these ten steps, reach out to us with any questions you might have. We’ll be happy to explain our franchise model to you and offer support as you decide upon this exciting new step in your career.