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If I want to buy a franchise, what should I do to get started?



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The first thing to do is to identify companies offering franchises. IFA's Franchise Opportunities Guide gives a comprehensive list of franchise companies in more than 75 kinds of businesses. The Guide, which costs $25.00 (including shipping and handling), is available by mailing a request and check or money order to IFA Publications, P.O. Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143. Orders may also be placed by calling 1-800-543-1038, or visiting IFA's online bookstore at www.franchise.org, where you can find other relevant sources to assist in your decision to buy a franchise. The Guide is also available online at the IFA website www.franchise.org.

You should contact the companies directly, and "shop wisely." "Shopping wisely" requires that you determine how much you can afford to invest and where to obtain financing. Careful investigation prior to purchasing a franchise also necessitates understanding the UFOC. You need to examine what the franchise relationship entails. For instance, you need to inquire into the training and support provided, assistance in finding and developing a location, and the sources of inventory and supplies. You should research the companies' growth and prospects for future growth. You should also seek advice from professionals and business people you respect. By shopping wisely, you can make an informed decision on whether to purchase the franchise.

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