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You’ve got your sights set on a certain franchise. It might be a fast-food restaurant, sports equipment store or car repair shop. But how do evaluate its potential as a business?

First the bad news

See what the worst aspects of a franchise are first. Search the web for complaints by customers and franchisees. Take these reports with a grain of salt, but if you see the same preventable problems popping up again and again, it could be a warning sign.

Too good to be true?

On the other hand, is your franchisor making their business seem too good to be true? Do they brag about earnings that are unrealistic for their industry sector? A realistic franchisor will be up front about the amount of work involved, and when a franchisee is likely to see an ROI (return on investment).

Look to grow

Search for a franchise that has an eye on the future. Restoring old cars? A small niche. Taking care of seniors? Much bigger growth potential due to the aging baby boomer population. Choose with care.

Once you’ve done your homework, deciding on the right franchise will be a lot easier. So batter up, franchise player! It’s time to put your eyes on the prize.