Frequently Asked Questions

Below are several frequently asked questions about franchising and working with a professional Franchise Sleuth LLC advisor. If you do not see your questions answered here please don’t hesitate to contact us!

  • Who is Franchise Sleuth LLC?

    Franchise Sleuth LLC is a franchise consulting firm located in Orinda, CA. Our firm has extensive knowledge and resources about the franchise industry allowing us to offer our clients an inside look at hundreds of different franchise opportunities.

  • Why buy a franchise instead of starting my own business?

    A franchise is already a functioning business system with processes and procedures. There are many entrepreneurs that have exactly what it takes to run a successful business but don’t have what it takes to get their business up and running. Whether it be financing, negotiating lease terms or even the confidence it takes to quit their job and start their own business. Buying a franchise eliminates all the hard work: finding a location, negotiating a lease, hiring reliable contractors and doing all this on-time and within budget.
    When you buy a franchise you are buying a complete turnkey business.While entrepreneurs invest heavily in order to set up a profitable business model, a franchisee can step into an already proven concept, with much less risk for failure. For example, are you aware that as many as 80% of new business start-ups fail each year? An already functioning business model will put you heads and shoulders above the novice entrepreneur who not only needs to generate profits, but also needs to develop a profitable business model. It can take much time and be very challenging for an individual business owner to establish his business with the same brand recognition and popularity as an existing successful franchise system.

  • Why would someone use a franchise consultant?

    A professional franchise consultant can offer candidates a wealth of general and inside information about the franchise industry as well as about specific franchise industries and opportunities. Franchise Sleuth LLC helps save our clients time by assisting with much of the initial legwork required in identifying rock solid opportunities that meet your criteria and are available in your desired market.

  • Why are your services free?

    The truth is our services are not free – they are just free to you, the franchise seeker. Franchise Sleuth LLC is paid by the franchises we represent to assist them in the development and growth of their business. We work with over 600 of today’s top franchise opportunities. If requested, we can also work on a contingency basis on your behalf to represent your interests in exploring other franchise opportunities that your interested in.

  • Which franchises does Franchise Sleuth LLC represent?

    Franchise Sleuth LLC currently works with over 600 of today’s top franchise opportunities from dozens of different industries.

  • Do I pay more for a franchise if I use a Franchise Sleuth LLC franchise consultant?

    Absolutely not. In single unit franchising fee negotiation is very rare. Most everyone pays the same franchise fee regardless of how they are introduced to the franchisor. In area development and master franchise deals we can often assist our clients with negotiations saving them thousands of dollars on initial fees.

  • What is it like working with a Franchise Sleuth LLC consultant?

    Our approach to this business is very simple and straight forward. Our consultants will conduct an initial interview to gain insight to your previous experiences, goals, strengths, weaknesses, investment range, target market and more. We will then work to select ideal franchises for you and assist you in researching the opportunity. When our clients are ready to take a serious look at a franchise we will facilitate the introduction then remain by your side throughout the remainder of the process.

  • Are there aggressive sales tactics used in this business?

    NO! Franchising is not a sales business – it’s a mutual discovery process. Good franchises are not sold – they are awarded. Only when both parties feel there is strong potential for success does anyone begin to consider investing in the franchise. “Selling” a franchise to a less than ideal candidate is generally a recipe for failure for both franchisee and franchisor. Aggressive sales techniques is not how winning franchisors are built.

  • Why should I work with Franchise Sleuth LLC? Can't I go direct to the franchise companies?

    The first thing that a person looking into buying a business should do is look at what they are trying to achieve by buying a business. Also, the person should thoroughly understand their goals from a lifestyle, business and financial perspective. Once the person understands these goals, then they can find a business that fits. Most people do not spend enough time with these items, and the result is that they never buy a business or may buy the wrong business.

    Franchise Sleuth LLC will help you evaluate all facets of your goals, needs and requirements; then they will match franchises to them. Franchise Sleuth LLC has reviewed hundreds of franchise companies. Franchise Sleuth LLC may show you franchises that you would never have considered on your own; or if you did know about them, you may rule them out for the wrong reason. The perfect franchise for you may be one that you have ruled out because you had some misconceptions about it.

    You can go directly to the franchise companies, but most will not spend time with you to make sure that you are buying the right franchise. It is the franchise salesman’s job to sell you their franchise.

  • What is the difference between a franchise and a business opportunity?

    When you buy a franchise, you are buying a proven method of doing business, and this method is followed by every franchisee in the system. All franchisees are operating under the trademark of that franchise. The relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee will continue for the duration of the franchise agreement.

    When you buy a business opportunity, you may also be buying a proven method of doing business, but this method may not be followed by all of the owners in the system. This is typically not a problem because the consumer does not know that you and the other owners all purchased from the same business opportunity seller. That is because you are not operating under the same name or trademark. It depends on the business opportunity whether or not you get ongoing support.

  • Which is better for me a franchise or a business opportunity?

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Franchise Sleuth LLC will spend time explaining the advantages and disadvantages, and help you determine which concept would be best for your overall goals.

  • Why don't you just give me a list of franchises you represent and I'll tell you the ones in which I have interest?

    You’re missing the point, we help you define your vision for the future, confirm your strengths and weaknesses and match you to the franchise business models where you’re most likely to achieve the success you desire. This would be a very ineffective and inefficient method of finding the ideal franchise for you. You wouldn’t know whether you qualify for a specific concept, whether it’s available in your desired market area, whether it met your personal, financial, and professional goals, and a host of other issues that would only add to the chaos of selecting a franchise

  • What are the ``hottest`` franchises or business opportunities?

    The International Franchise Association indicates that there are over 3,800 franchise companies and they are spread over 75 industries. The question should not be what is hot, but what is right for me.

    Hot concepts come and go, some are very good, some are not. Our experience helps guide you to the best opportunity. For example, when describing your lifestyle goals, you may have indicated that you want to buy a business allowing more time with your family. In the past, you missed coaching your son’s soccer team, or you weren’t available for your daughter’s dance recital. The “hot” franchise may be very demanding on your time and should not be a consideration.

    Perhaps the “hot” new franchise is a new concept that has not proven itself. If you are not a risk taker, then you would be better off looking at a well-established franchise with a proven success record, but may not be considered “hot”.

  • How much money will I make?

    Although the success rate for franchise-owned businesses is typically better than the success rate for many independent businesses, there is no formula to guarantee success. How successful you are is often a reflection of how much time and effort you are willing to devote to operating your business and following the franchisors training, processes and systems.

    Often the gross and net margins you make are a reflection of your ability to properly run your franchise, however you may be able to get a document (Item 19 of the Franchise Disclosure Document) from the franchisor that illustrates the typical franchise earnings. If the franchisor does not provide such a document, you should contact a number of franchisees in the market you are interested in and seek their advice on the business’ profitability. During your due diligence process with the franchisor, you will be able to speak with as many franchisees as necessary to help you in your decision to become a franchise owner.

  • Does Franchise Sleuth LLC work with all franchises, and if not, aren't my options limited?

    We find that most people that work with Franchise Sleuth LLC actually expand their options. But, the answer is no we do not work with all franchise companies. Franchise Sleuth LLC carefully screens the franchise companies that we work with; not all companies pass our requirements. Also, there are major companies, such as McDonald’s that are so well known that many people choose to go direct to them.

    But, you will never be limited, because you can work with Franchise Sleuth LLC and if we can not refer you to a franchise company, then you are free to go direct. There is never an obligation to work only with Franchise Sleuth LLC.

  • How do I know if I can afford to buy a franchise?

    Before investing in a particular franchise, carefully consider how much money you have to invest, your abilities and your desired goals. The following checklist may help you make your decision.

    • What is the initial investment to buy the franchise? How much upfront cash will I need to put down?
    • How much money do you have to invest?
    • Will you persue the franchise by yourself, or with partners?
    • Will you need financing and where can you obtain it? There are many available financing options when considering investing in a franchise. Franchise Sleuth LLC has finance affiliates that can offer a variety of solutions to suit your specific needs and requirements and usually at the most competitive rates in the industry and unique programs. Click here for more information
    • Do you have a favorable credit rating?
    • Do you have savings or additional income to live on while starting your franchise?
    • Have you spoken with a Franchise Sleuth LLC consultant to learn more about your options? Click here to be contacted by a Franchise Sleuth LLC consultant.
  • Will I make a good franchisee?

    To be a good franchisee, you first have to make sure that you find the right franchise. It is almost a guarantee if you select the wrong franchise, you will not be successful. If it is the wrong franchise you may not be satisfied or happy with your choice regardless of success. An unsuccessful, unsatisfied, or unhappy franchisee is generally not a good franchisee.

    Therefore, before you buy, we will help you examine your skills, abilities and experiences. You must look at what will really be a successful franchise for you in relation to your lifestyle, financial and business goals.

  • What is a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)?

    The FDD is your primary research tool to evaluate a franchise opportunity coupled with conversations with the franchisor and existing and former franchisees. The format of the FDD is specified by the Federal Trace Commission (FTC) and NASAA (Federal and State Regulators) and provides information about the franchisor, the obligations of the franchisor and the franchisee, fees, start-up costs, and other required information about the franchise system. It includes a listing of current and former franchisees. In addition to the disclosure portion of the FDD, the document will contain the franchise and other agreements and exhibits. It does not typically include unit earnings information. Item 19, “Earnings Claims” is an optional disclosure under the FTC Rule and State FDDs even though the performance of the franchise in terms of unit “earnings” are material facts that should be disclosed to new buyers by the seller of the franchise, who profits from the sale.

  • Should I consult with people other than Franchise Sleuth LLC?

    Absolutely, buying a franchise is a major investment for most people. It is the type of investment that may be hard to recover from if you make the wrong decision. Therefore, it is imperative to get the advice of professionals before making your final decision. Consult with an attorney, preferably a franchise attorney that understands the intricacies of the franchise industry. You should also consult with a CPA or financial advisor.

    Ask about our team of affiliates offering expertise in financial, accounting, legal, real estate, insurance and marketing.

  • How do I get started with Franchise Sleuth LLC?

    If you’re not already talking with a Franchise Sleuth LLC Consultant, then go to the “Contact Us” page of this website and complete the form. A Franchise Sleuth Consultant will contact you within one business day.

  • I'm interested in an E-2 Investor Visa or EB-5 Visa

    Can you help me? Yes, we can help you. We work closely with an attorney practicing exclusively U.S. immigration law with an emphasis on helping foreign entrepreneurs obtain the E-2 Investor Visa and EB-5 Investment Green Card to reside in the U.S. and operate their businesses. Please Contact Us today to learn more about business and franchise opportunities that qualify.

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