The Best Franchise to Buy? Look Beyond ROI
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The Best Franchise to Buy? Look Beyond ROI

Few questions inspire as much debate and conversation than “What’s the best franchise to buy?” Entire publications have dedicated themselves to this question. Meanwhile, Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” rankings attract millions of readers each year.

But when people talk about the best franchise to buy, they tend to focus on only one side of franchise ownership: the expected costs and returns of franchise investment.

On the one hand, it’s easy to understand how and why this happens. Franchise Disclosure Documents provide data that’s easily quantified. And as with any other investment, you need a franchise that: A) has a reasonable investment cost and B) will provide you with a healthy return.

On the other hand, money isn’t the only thing you put into a franchise. By the end of year five, most franchisees have put well over 10,000 hours into their business. That’s a significant investment of time and energy that gets left out of these calculations. And in a similar vein, it’s easy to forget the intangible rewards of owning a business you can be proud about and doing work that you legitimately love.

So if you’re busy searching for the best franchise to buy, start with ROI — but don’t end your search there.

The Financial Side of the “Best Franchise to Buy” Conversation

When you’re looking for the best franchise to buy, you should evaluate it first and foremost as a business opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing a low-cost franchise or one that requires a seven-figure investment. Your ultimate goal is a profitable business that delivers a worthwhile return on your investment.

There’s a range of different ways that you can measure a franchise purely along these lines. The most popular method is the model used by Entrepreneur for its Franchise 500 rankings. This model draws on a range of sources — including costs and fees, corporate support, brand size and growth, and the franchisor’s financial stability — to measure the investment potential of different franchise opportunities.

One word of caution about these kinds of rankings: They don’t account for your local market or your personal circumstances. That might seem like an obvious point. But when you’re looking at franchise rankings, it’s easy to lose sight of these factors.

Remember that the best franchise to buy under typical circumstances might not be a great fit for your personal situation. In fact, the so-called “best franchise to buy” could be a poor candidate for success in your local market. And even if it’s a smart financial investment, it could be a weak fit for your goals, personality, or skillset.

But even if you find what seems like a can’t miss investment, that still might not be the best franchise to buy.

The Personal Side of Buying & Owning a Franchise

A franchise isn’t a passive investment. For most franchisees, it means years of late nights and working weekends, plus an extraordinary investment of physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Given the amount of time and energy at stake, it’s no wonder that the most successful franchisees tend to be those who are passionate about what they do. These are business owners who truly enjoy the day-to-day operations of their business. Their work isn’t simply a means to an end. It’s a vocation.

So even if your primary goal is to earn financial independence via business ownership, it pays to find a business that you can fall in love with. The best franchise to buy will provide a product or service that you believe in. It will allow you to harness your skills and work according to your preferences. And it will be with a brand that truly supports its franchisees.

These kinds of qualities aren’t measured in the conventional best franchise to buy rankings like the Franchise 500. But you can find alternative rankings that do a great job of capturing this side of franchise ownership.

A great example of this is the Franchise Business Review’s annual rankings. Every year, the FBR surveys thousands of franchisees across hundreds of major franchise brands. Instead of basing its rankings on costs and returns, the FBR’s annual list ranks franchises based on franchisee satisfaction. Each brand is also measured on a range of intangible qualities, like the brand’s values and vision and the sense of community among franchisees.

The Bottom Line

When you’re searching for the best franchise to buy, you want to start with a rock-solid investment. That means evaluating franchise opportunities with a “Franchise 500” mindset.

But you also want a business that you enjoy and take pride in. And that means looking at franchise opportunities more like the FBR.

That might lead you to a brand like Visiting Angels®. Over the past decade, we’ve been one of the top-ranked senior care brands in Franchise 500 rankings. Meanwhile, the FBR has named us the best franchise to buy in senior care in four of the past seven years, including in 2019!

Looking for the best franchise to buy in the senior care sector? Call Visiting Angels at 800-365-4189 or contact us online