Thinking about leaving your job to open a business?
If you don't know what type of business you want to run, "The 220 Best Franchises to Buy," by Constance Jones and The Philip Lief Group (Bantam), offers guidance in the franchise field. From automotive services to the travel business, the authors describe the promise and pitfalls of franchising.
Before you invest, they recommend:
* Know yourself.
* Know the product and its market.
* Know the franchiser.
* Find out about fees, expenses and financing.
* Learn about training programs, support and assistance.
* Know your legal rights and the terms of the contract.
For most franchises, the authors disclose the initial license fee, royalties, advertising royalties, minimum cash required, capital required, financing and length of contract.
Included in the book are Wendy's, Baskin-Robbins, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Arby's -- though McDonald's is curiously missing. And there are statistics for nonfood franchises, such as American Leak Detection Inc., Four Seasons Greenhouses and Culligan International Co.
The authors also offer advice on spotting a bad franchise. Watch out for:
* Unregistered and unprotected trademarks and copyrights.
* Excessive control by the franchiser over the franchisee.
* Extensive litigation against franchisees.
* Franchisers who assume the control of the franchisee's location by serving as the sublessor.