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While we feel comfortable with our selection of the FranCompare™ Franchise Recognition Program Winner in each of the specific industry categories, there are a number of additional caveats that every prospective franchisee should be aware of. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The analyses and weightings in the Franchise Matrix™ are solely the opinion of FranCompare™. The variables used in the Franchise Matrix™ are all metrics-based and do not take into account many subjective variables deserving of your attention.
  2. To the extent that a visitor feels that other variables from the FDDs should be considered, or that the existing weights should be changed, he or she is free to do so in the downloadable Customizable Worksheets, located at the top of the Homepage.
  3. The selection of a “winner” in a specific category may be relevant to someone who has the specific skills needed to succeed in that particular franchise system. However, for someone who does not possess the necessary skills and experience, he or she should give very serious consideration to his or her long-term mutual compatibility before making an investment. Any prospective franchisor should ensure that your skillset matches those required of a successful franchisee in that specific company and in that specific industry. Remember that, just because a franchise system is the “Winner” in its category, does not mean it will work for a franchisee with the wrong skillset.
  4. The FranCompare™ 2019 Franchise Recognition Program only takes into account the data extracted from each company’s 2018 FDD. There are many other variables that should also be considered. These include, but are not limited to, the following considerations:
    1. Franchisee Satisfaction:

      Make an effort to contact as many existing and former franchisees as possible to determine their level of satisfaction with the overall franchise system.
    2. Litigation Over the Past Several Years:

      Although recent litigation is listed in the FDD, we did not feel proficient to assign values to litigation. Excessive litigation should be explained by the franchisor.
    3. Ownership Changes:

      Be aware of any management and/or ownership changes that might impact the trajectory of the franchise. New ownership may be good (new management personnel, injecting new funds into the company, new marketing plans, etc.) or bad (new ownership may over-leverage the company and thereby weaken its financial strength, a singular focus solely on growth usually results in poor franchisee support, etc.).
    4. Management Changes:

      Excessive management turnover (especially among senior management) might be a tell-tale sign that there are major problems within the company.
    5. Additional Competitors:

      Most of the categories have more than 4 franchise systems noted in the analysis. We selected the 4 companies in large part because of their size, years in the business, and the fact that, for the most part, they provide an Item 19. Other smaller and/or newer companies who may have a legitimate reason for not providing an Item 19, should not be dismissed. By focusing on the largest franchisors in a particular category, many exceptional companies are automatically excluded from consideration.
    6. Franchisor Support:

      If the management is focused primarily on growth for its own sake, support for existing franchisees will usually deteriorate. Learn more about the existing franchisor support system and its level of success.
    7. Urgency:

      Don’t be pressured into signing a Franchise Agreement until all your questions and anxieties have been properly addressed to your full satisfaction. Many franchisors will force or otherwise embarrass you into signing on the dotted line before you are ready. Don’t be bullied. It’s your money and your life.
    8. Industry Growth:

      Although you might have a great deal of experience in a particular industry, be confident that the industry has exceptional long-term growth prospects.
    9. Competition:

      If a particular franchisor does not have strong proprietary position and if the industry is profitable, one would naturally expect new competition. Beware of an industry with few barriers to entry.
    10. Dependence Upon a Strong Economy:

      Recessions come and go. If your product or service is heavily dependent upon a strong economy, be aware that bad times come too frequently and that discretionary spending no longer becomes discretionary.
    11. Realistic Self-Assessment:

      Know yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Owning a franchise is not for the weak of heart. Be prepared to work hard, especially during the first 12 to 18 months as you are learning the business. Be prepared to follow the rules set forth by the franchisor. Don’t think that the procedures established by the franchisor don’t apply to you because you are special or smarter than the rest. As a franchisee, you will experience many ups and downs. If you are averse to change or get rattled in high-pressure situations, know ahead of time that those situations will undoubtedly present themselves.
    12. Hubris:

      Do not think that you know everything, especially when it comes to negotiating a Franchise Agreement. If you have no prior experience in franchising, an investment in an experienced attorney and/or accountant is generally money well spent. The key word here is experienced.