What Do Prospective Franchise Owners Want in 2023?

What do franchise buyers want in 2023

The Significant Seven Wants That Franchise Ownership can Fulfill

Recently I’ve had several conversations with Brian and Carol, a couple interested in creating more quality family time. Brian’s current job is demanding and often keeps him from spending the time he wants with his wife and five children. For over the 17 years of his employ, he has enjoyed his job but believes he has reached a financial ceiling. Eager to provide for his family today and in the future, he’s concerned with the lack of control over his financial future. 

As a result, he’s faced with a couple of choices: Stay employed and accept status-quo, find a new job, or take control of his financial future by changing from employment to business ownership. Admittedly, it’s a frightening proposition to leave a secure job. However, he believes in himself, and they are beginning to understand how owning a franchise will give them control over their future.    

More and more these days, I hear sentiments similar to Brian and Carol’s. So what do prospective franchise owners want in 2023? Career and life changes are the goal for a lot of folks. In working with people to determine if franchise ownership is the right path for franchisee candidates, I have identified specific wants that I hear over and over. Here are the significant seven I hear most often.

With everything seeming so negative, why would someone ever consider owning a business in this environment?

Financial Security 

Uncertainty and frustration seem to be prevalent today. Many people see a challenged economy, inflation, high gas prices, empty shelves, increased interest rates, lay-offs, and help-wanted signs as reasons to be pessimistic about business ownership. With everything seeming so negative, why would someone ever consider owning a business in this environment? Where can financial security be found? The answer, I believe, is in franchise business ownership. I have personally experienced it, and so have scores of others who enjoy the ability to control their financial decisions. Amid the uncertainty, they forge ahead and create a great lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Control of Destiny 

Most folks like to be in control. However, many talented people are in a position where others control them and their future. Knowing you have control over your destiny is very powerful. You create opportunities for yourself, decide what directions to pursue, help others reach their full potential, and choose when and how you provide for your family. Franchise ownership puts you in the “driver’s seat.” No longer is someone else calling the shots; you manage your life according to your hopes, dreams, and desires.

Opportunity with Mitigated Risk

Charles R. Swindoll said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Some people would never venture into franchise ownership, while others insist it’s a great opportunity. It all depends on an individual’s perception, life experiences, the influence of others, and tolerance for taking a risk. Consider the decisions you’ve made in the past. Have any involved significant risk? Take home ownership, for instance. Most people don’t consider having a sizeable mortgage too risky. 

It’s normal and natural to experience fear and anxiety, especially when investing money in something you’ve never done.

However, it causes significant concern when someone contemplates purchasing a franchise, even when it is typically less than the cost of a house. Home values are determined by outside influences and market conditions, while franchise values are under the owner’s control. One of the best ways to approach risk is by asking, “what is the worst that can happen?” How often does the “worst” really happen? In my 22 years of guiding people, I have never known anyone to experience the “worst.”  It’s normal and natural to experience fear and anxiety, especially when investing money in something you’ve never done. The best thing you can do is recognize your fear, turn it into courage, then believe in yourself. If you have been successful in the past working hard and making money for others, why wouldn’t you be equally or considerably more successful working for yourself?


Everyone wants a crystal ball so they can know the future. They ask, “If I invest in this business, will it be successful and/or sustainable in the future?” Many are drawn to “shiny” or “sexy” opportunities, the latest and greatest fad, or a business with limited or no competition. If that’s your chosen direction, make sure your due diligence is extensive. You will need to know how the franchise company can support you and the business long-term, especially if many franchises in the system have been sold quickly. Another option to consider is a need-based business that customers will need even during challenging times — one that can sustain itself through the ups and downs of economic cycles.

Income Replacement

People often tell me they need to replace their income immediately and want a business that will meet their requirements. This can be accomplished if they have enough money to purchase the business and include a salary in their calculations. Many have a spouse, partner or investor who will financially support them while the business ramps up its revenue. Still, others choose to include a salary in their funding package. And there are those occasions when an existing franchise is for sale and can support an owner’s income.

Most people don’t realize the strong value of a franchise as it grows, develops, and ultimately sells. 

Building Wealth 

One of the greatest advantages of buying a franchise over working a job is the wealth-building equation. With a job, most people are paid a salary with a potential bonus or profit sharing. Unfortunately, employees typically don’t have much control over their financial situation, especially if they lose their job. Franchising offers an alternative. While building your business and paying yourself a salary, you are also building equity in an asset that can ultimately provide significant wealth. Most people don’t realize the strong value of a franchise as it grows, develops, and ultimately sells. This equation is where the wealth proposition far exceeds most job opportunities. Investing in a franchise can reap short- and long-term rewards for yourself and your family, leaving them a legacy for the future.

Freedom and Flexibility

Most people are focused on wanting freedom and flexibility in their lives. Having the ability to control their schedule, the hours they work, time with family, vacations, and hobbies is a top priority. Long hours, hectic schedules, extensive travel, and time-sensitive projects requiring nights and weekends are all reasons people want to make career changes. Franchise ownership allows you to decide how you spend your time. You will be free to create a flexible schedule that complements your lifestyle.  

I am currently talking with several people who have shared their wants with me. Here’s a sample of who they are…

  • Corporate executives who dislike their careers and want to make a change.
  • Other executives who want to keep their job while building a business they can transition into.  
  • Hard working everyday people who are tired of working for “the man” and want to create wealth and a legacy for their family.
  • Stay-at-home moms and dads who know their kids will soon be in school full-time and want something to do.
  • Couples who want to go into business together, leveraging their financial resources and skills.
  • Professional athletes who are nearing retirement and need to find something to invest their time and money in.

What do Prospective Franchise Owners Want?

In the 2022 Franchising Economic Outlook, The International Franchise Association reports that 775,000 franchise establishments support $787.7 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy. Think of all of those people who found success through franchise business ownership! Each of them have a story. Many of those franchise owners started on a quest for financial independence and a desire for flexibility.

So what do prospective franchise owners want in 2023? The jury is still out on whether Brian and Carol will buy a franchise. They are doing their homework, talking with many people, and doing their due diligence. They have the desire, ability, and motivation to be successful franchise owners. It will be exciting to see what direction they choose.  

Maybe you can relate to Brian and Carol. You want something different for your career. You find yourself in a position where you want to make a transition, and you know you can experience something greater in your life. Maybe it’s time for you to get educated and find out if franchising is right for you. I can attest from personal experience. I’m glad I took that first step over 35 years ago to change my life and realize my dream of franchise ownership.  

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Mark Pasma is a veteran franchise consultant who brings more than 30 years of experience as the owner of several franchise companies. He offers franchise candidates first-hand knowledge of life as a franchise owner. Today, he continues to leverage that experience working directly with IFPG and Franchising101.com.
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