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Find Franchise and Other Resource Information

The following are some important organizations and web sites that may be helpful for your  investigation and selection of a franchise  business or business opportunity.

 International Franchise Association (IFA)http://franchise.org/

The IFA is an international association which help regulates, teaches, consults, trains, monitors and maintains a healthy franchise industry for both franchisees and franchisors. Most established franchise companies join and take an active role to help franchising continue to be a great business model. The IFA also helps promote laws and regulations to protect the franchisees and franchisors and their respective businesses. The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA’s mission is “to protect, enhance and promote franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs.”

At the IFA web site you will find:

  • Detailed information for over 1,100 franchises who are members;
  • A complete list of subject matter experts;
  • The most comprehensive library of franchising information available ranging from basic “how to’s” to advanced regulatory and legal information regarding franchising.

(The cost to join IFA  is high so many newer or less established franchisors wait to become members as there are over 3500 franchises. Membership is also open to franchisees of all systems. )

Laurel Israel Sturm, your eAdvantage4u Consultant, has been awarded her Certified Franchise Executive designation by the International Franchise Association (IFA) in 2011 and is current. She also regularly keeps abreast of new legal development and best practices by attending the Annual Legal Symposium as well as keeps up-to-date on current trends, companies and best practices by attending franchise conferences and IFA events.

 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)http://sba.gov/

The SBA is a government organization whose purpose is to assist small business growth and entrepreneurism. Most associate SBA with governmental loans as SBA works with local banks to guarantee small business loans.

The SBA not only can help with possible loans but they also can provide classes so you can learn how to start and manage a business. SBA provides counsel and free or low cost training to business owners and future business owners. Your eAdvantage4u Consultant, Laurel Israel Sturm received the SBA Volunteer of the Year Award.  She  has also worked with individuals and companies obtaining SBA loans. You will also want to ask the franchisors if they are on the SBA Registry.

 Federal Trade Commission (FTC)www.ftc.gov

The FTC is a U.S. government body which regulates businesses, including the franchising industry and business opportunities. The FTC requires franchising companies to disclose important items about each and every franchise company in a prescribed format that is in plain English to protect you. This disclosure document is called the Uniform Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The FDD will also contain the franchisor’s financials as well as the franchise agreements and any other agreement you might be required to sign to join the system when purchasing a franchise. The FDD should be read initially to gain a sense of the franchise, its management and business. Then you will want to study various sections defined labeled “Items”  and discuss the Items thoroughly with the franchisor until all of your questions have been addressed and you understand how the business operates.   After the franchisor and you have determined that there is mutual interest in owning the franchise, you will be given a pass code by the franchisor so you can contact the  franchisees of the system directly. If you just call those listed in the FDD before you obtain the “pass code,” most franchisee will not be very forthcoming or share information openly as they do not know if you are a qualified and viable candidate and they don’t want to share proprietary or system information unless there is genuine interest.

The FTC also regulates business opportunities.  Generally business opportunities involve less investment and have less rules and requirements.  The FTC requires that interested purchasers be provided a disclosure document and some owners to contact so that a prospective purchaser can make an informed purchase decision.

 

Better Business Bureau (BBB)  – http://www.bbb.org/

BBB is an organization which helps keep businesses honest and ethical. When a person has a complaint about a business, one of the first places a person might  complain is to the BBB and the BBB tries to help businesses resolve such complaints.  Likewise, if someone is considering purchasing products, services or wants to learn more about a company’s history, the BBB is a source where one can  learn  if anyone has ever had a complaint about a company.

 

 Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)www.cfa.ca

This is the Canadian equivalent of the IFA. It is there to assist and help the franchising industry in Canada.

 Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE)www.score.org

SCORE mentors and offer free, helpful business advice online and through face-to-face meetings. SCORE mentors are generally successful businesspersons or retired professionals who have often owned their own companies. They can give a person advice in almost every aspect of business ownership including; budgeting, marketing, business set-up, salesmanship, buying, inventory control, hiring and firing, etc.

This organization has many local offices throughout the United States where they hold workshops; provide training, and have published  newsletters and web information to assist almost anyone interested in becoming a business owner. Laurel Israel Sturm has frequently lectured and mentored and was named Score Volunteer of the Year for Central Ohio for her efforts and work with SBA and SCORE.

Other Franchise & Business Resources

If you engage in the eAdvantage4u SMART eDiscoveryTM Process, you will be provided a pass code to proprietary materials that have been written by eAdvantage4u  for your use and reference during your investigation on the eAdvantage4u web site. The advantage for you is that each topic is subject specific and provides you a quick How 2 synopsis, generally a page or two, of very specific information with practical advice that doesn’t ramble on about history of franchising and provide a lot of examples of an FDD (franchise disclosure document). You will be receiving FDD from various companies  that you have interest in and thus you don’t need to waste your time looking at examples that may not be relevant to your specific search or situation.

Other Recommended Books and Magazines

The Entrepreneur Magazine

Forbes Magazine

Inc. Magazine

The Franchise Handbook

Success Magazine

How to Buy a Franchise by James A. Meaney, Attorney at Law

Street Smart Franchising by Joe Matthews

The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko

Attitude is Everything; 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turing Attitude into Action by Keith Harrell

Second Acts by Stephen M. Pllan and Mark Levine

True Purpose: 12 Strategies for Discovering the Difference You are Meant to Make by Tim Kelley

Live Rich: How to build success in your company and your life with a proven Code of Values by Dina Dwyer Owens

Possible Web Site Resource Information

Attention: This web site contains links to third party web sites, books and magazines. These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by eAdvantage4u, llc or its consultants of the contents on such third-party sites or information contained therein. eAdvantage4u is not responsible for the content of linked third-party information and does not make any representations regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third party sites. If you decide to access linked third-party books, magazines and web sites, you do so at your own risk. Any information you receive from your consultant or contained in this or any web site you look at should be verified and not be relied on in making important investment decisions. Always check with an attorney, CPA, adviser or anyone you feel comfortable with before making a life-changing decision.