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by Pamela Gold

As with many decisions we make in our lives in the 21st century, beginning the process of searching for the ideal franchise opportunity can be successfully done on a computer from the comfort and convenience of your home. In fact, if you prepare yourself wisely and visit reputable websites, you can narrow down your search and do most of your research to find your dream business opportunity via the Internet.

Dr. Callum Floyd, a franchise consultant and founder of the New Zealand-based web resource commented, "Ten years ago, the search for franchising information and franchise opportunities was far more physical, time consuming, and costly. Today, information and expert advice is far more accessible. At the click of a mouse, we can find numerous resource articles about all aspects of franchising, rapidly explore and compare a huge range of franchises, and see what others think about a particular opportunity. Furthermore, we can easily find and seek specialist advice - from all corners of the globe."

Prepare Yourself
First and foremost before you begin the search process, you be must prepared. Explore your interests, goals and needs:

  • What are your goals? Do you desire to ultimately work part-time and spend more time with your family? Do you want a giant home and a luxury car? Where do you want to be in a few years?
  • Look at your interests. Have you always been interested in cars, or enjoyed re-building homes? Did you always envy the business coaches that came to your corporate office? Do you want to manage the growth of a business, or work hands-on? These questions will help you figure out which of the many industries that encompass franchising might be right for you. From ice cream stores and automobile glass repair services to learning centers for children and tax service providers, there's a business for everyone.

Next, look at your finances. Keep in mind that most businesses don't become lucrative right away so you might need to sustain yourself, financially, for several months or more. Now figure out how much liquid capital, money available for you to use right away, you have to spend on your business. Remember that if you are qualified financially, you may be able to get additional financing from a bank or lending institution.

Educate Yourself
"The Internet is a fantastic starting point for finding the perfect opportunity. An extensive array of information is available online, enabling prospective franchisees to satisfy many stages of the franchise selection process," said Floyd.

Do your homework. Be well-informed about the world of franchising: How franchises work, how the process of buying a franchise unfolds, and what is new news in the franchise community. To keep up to date, you must have reliable sources for information. Not all franchise related websites are equal. Franchise Solutions is a reliable place to do research on particular opportunities and narrow down your search until you find your dream business. The website also has a dependable resource center which showcases an array of tools, resources, and a huge library of articles on topics ranging from how to get financing to interesting interviews with franchisors and franchisees.

Dr. Floyd's website,, is a unique and successful mixture of breaking franchise news, hand-collected from around the world by Floyd and his staff on a daily basis, and an insightful franchise chat forum in which prospects, franchisees, and franchisors can ask questions, voice their opinions, and give suggestions on an array of franchise-related topics.

The International Franchise Association's (IFA) website is also a valuable and reliable source of information and resources for the seasoned franchise professional and the prospective franchisee. Every member and prospective member of the franchising community can find useful information, training courses, and dates of interest on this valuable website.

While much of your research can be done online, remember to do your due diligence. "In addition to Internet research, physical cross-referencing should also be undertaken. Prospective franchisees should speak/meet with existing franchisees and franchisor representatives, independent legal and business specialists, and prepare a feasibility study for operating within the projected area," suggests Floyd.

Begin Your Search Now!
Day or night, from an Internet café or from the comfort of your home, you can begin the journey to business ownership. The Internet is a powerful information machine which brings opportunities and prospective entrepreneurs from around the world together. Reliable websites will yield a wealth of information for you.

"The task of learning about franchising, searching and evaluating franchise opportunities, finding funding, and seeking professional advice, has been revolutionized by the Internet and related technologies. Forward thinking, innovative companies like Franchise Solutions Corp. have developed powerful online franchise information tools which provide critical information and advice to prospective franchisees," states Floyd.

Need More Guidance?
Some people love the fact that they can search for a business via the Internet: There's no initial pressure to buy and you can take your time and be thorough with your research. On the other hand, the search can be an overwhelming task for some entrepreneurs. If you feel like you need the support and guidance of a pro, you can find a dependable and reputable franchise consultant online. FranchiseBuyer, a network of seasoned franchise consultants located around the United States, can help. On their website, you'll find a franchise self test which will quickly and easily tell you if franchising is right for you. From there, you can request a free consultation with a franchise consultant who will be assigned to you. That consultant will get to know you, your interests, and your goals, and then recommend businesses that meet your needs. FranchiseBuyer's services are completely free of charge to you and you will be under no obligation to buy a business through them. If you need a little more guidance, a personal franchise consultant is certainly the way to go.

One Franchisee's Online Journey to Business Ownership
Rickie Felder was the CFO of a company. His career was booming, but he couldn't sleep at night. "I just couldn't make some of the decisions I was being forced to make in the corporate world. I did not feel comfortable and I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with my life, but one day I quit," explained Felder.

"I took time to think about my life. I went to Florida and just thought about things. My wife thought I was crazy," Felder exclaimed.

Felder had always been interested in corporate training but had never thought much more about it. As he tried to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, financial considerations came into his mind, "I didn't want to find partners to help me finance a large business. I wanted to be my own boss, on my own," he explained.

"I use all the time. I love the website. It was an easy decision for me to go to USA Today's Franchise Center (powered by Franchise solutions). I searched opportunities by investment level and was able to figure out what kind of business I wanted from the list of opportunities I could afford. When I spotted the training and consulting businesses, I knew I had found what I wanted to do," said Felder.

Today, Rickie Felder lives in Mississippi and owns a 360 Solutions and a Profiles International. He discovered both opportunities in USA Today's Franchise Center.

"When you're looking to open a business, you need tools. Tools to do research. Tools to find financing. Franchise Solutions provides the whole tool shed! I was able to find all the information I needed to locate the right business for me on USA Today's Franchise Center. Today, I have survived that first year in business. I'm getting really excited about my businesses, and feel like I am living the American Dream," Felder concluded

Reprinted with permission from Pamela Gold at Franchise Solutions.
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Pamela Gold is a copywriter for Franchise Solutions, and has years of experience writing about franchising.

Founded in 1993, Franchise Solutions is a leading provider of franchise and business opportunity information on the Internet. Celebrating it's tenth anniversary this year, the Company has emerged as a full-service provider of marketing services for the franchise community.

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