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July 26th, 2008On Franchising

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by Richard Gibson

More than 200 new franchising opportunities were introduced in the U.S. last year, underscoring the industry’s enormous popularity here.

But which ones will be around 10 years from now, and which are simply somebody’s make-a-quick-buck scheme?

Anyone considering starting a franchise needs to determine whether it is a legitimate concept, has legs and is appropriately priced, so as not to create a backlash among franchisees who feel misled on their investment. Experts who help would-be franchisers get started warn that many rush to market.

“A lot come to franchising prematurely,” says Mark Siebert, president of iFranchise Group, a Homewood, Ill., consulting firm that advises potential franchisers on how to turn their ideas into real businesses. They may have been operating a popular barbecue restaurant in their home town, for example, but that doesn’t guarantee that they could dot the country with them.

To winnow the thousands of inquiries it gets each year, Mr. Siebert’s company asks potential entrepreneurs a series of questions, among them…

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