If you dream of becoming a business owner, a franchise can offer that opportunity along with a lower investment, comprehensive support, and a convenient, pre-existing business structure. Plus, you can market your business to an already existing customer base, through a company with an established reputation. It’s easy to see why franchise opportunities are so popular with new and experienced business owners alike.

But which franchise business works best for your location, priorities, and other needs? Asking yourself these questions can help you to narrow the field.

What are my goals? Are you looking to gain experience? Make a difference in the world? Make as much money as possible? Earn a living by operating one franchise location, or grow your own empire? Get clear on your goals before diving into the world of franchise business.

What type of industry interests you? We tend to think of restaurants when we think of franchise businesses, but many more options exist. Think about the type of service you want to provide to your community, and what is needed or desired in your area.

What are your strengths? You don’t need to be an expert in everything. If you don’t excel at a particular area of business, can you outsource that role to someone else?

How involved do I want to be? There’s a big difference between franchise owners and franchise managers. Do you want to be involved on a day-to-day basis? Then look for a franchise that offers more of a management role for owners. Do you want to simply set up your location and hire others to run it for you? Look for more of an owner-only opportunity.

How much commitment can I make? Franchise contracts can run between 5 and 25 years, but the average length of contract is 10 years. Ask yourself whether you’re looking for a long-term investment, or if you’re more interested in opening and then reselling the location relatively soon.

What is my budget?  And, of course, budget matters. If you want to open a more expensive franchise, you might need to spend time gathering capital. This situation also carries more risk, so keep that in mind when choosing your franchise business.

For those located in the Los Angeles area, check out the upcoming Los Angeles Franchise Show. Parlay Cafe will be there, along with many other franchise businesses, to demonstrate what our opportunity can mean for you.