Internet Obfuscation

These days most people will use the internet to shop for a business opportunity. This is a reasonable method for gathering information, but be careful not to let the internet define your range of options. This is a common mistake and it is easy to get caught in that trap. The advertising dollars spent by franchises and business opportunities do not correlate to the relative quality of the company. In fact, I see many downright lousy opportunities featured prominently in the search rankings on Google every day. 

The internet is a great source of information, but it is like a library so knowing where to look is imperative to finding the right data. Answers are easy, knowing what the questions are is the hard part. 

Any company with a deliberate and focused web strategy can rank high in the major search indices for the categories it wishes to dominate. With Pay-Per-Click advertising anyone can side step the whole web optimization strategy and be at the top of any keyword searches that they wish to purchase. The result is that any company, irrespective of their size, quality or history can dominate the search engines. This leaves many people to confuse internet prominence with true success in the marketplace. 

One way to minimize the impact of this is to use the search engines in a different way. Instead of searching for “franchises” on Google for instance, try searching for something that you enjoy like running or baseball. Within the search results you will find companies that cater to these interests and some of these will be business opportunities. When you click through to the website, look for information relevant to franchise or license opportunities. Of course, just because you like an activity doesn’t mean it is the right business for you, (lifestyle considerations are the key) but you will be finding companies that you would normally never see if you typed in “sports franchises” unless you scrolled through to page 46 on the search results. 

Remember that a growing franchise with a brand name that is not recognized in your market yet, often represents the best opportunity. As long as the model has been successfully replicated in other markets multiple times and has experienced leadership, it should be a good bet. And if you are not sure, call our franchise help line at (951) 587-6929. 

Whatever you do in your search, be sure to talk to lots of people. You can only gain the subjective information that will make a difference to you personally by speaking with people who operate the franchise units. The Web is a great resource if you utilize it as a tool, not a road map.

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Dan Brunell

Dan Brunell is the CEO of Dearborn West, LLC, an independent boutique consulting firm that specializes in entrepreneurial talent acquisition and training. Dan has fostered recruiting relationships with over 300 franchise systems throughout North America, created and delivered customized training and coaching programs for global consulting network, and established the best practices and ethical guidelines for this emerging industry space.