Getting the go ahead: Tips for starting your own franchise

The hardest part of flying is taking off. Birds know it, airplane pilots know it and so do up-and-coming franchisees.

Opening your own franchise location can be exciting, but actually getting things off the ground may not be as easy as it sounds. However, with the right insider secrets, anyone can become their own boss and take advantage of all the benefits that come with owning your own franchise business. Here are a couple of suggestions for prospective franchisees who are looking to get into the game, but don't know where to begin.

With a little know-how, your franchise will soar.With a little know-how, your franchise will soar.

Balance niche with commodity
The first step to starting a franchise location is deciding which franchisor speaks to you. That said, personal opinion shouldn't be the only factor behind which franchise you end up choosing. Maybe you want to be a shrewd business person and try to find a unique business to help you corner the market as well as reduce your chances of competition. After all, with more than 780,000 different franchises according to the 2015 Franchise Business Economic Outlook from IHS and the International Franchise Association, diversity is the answer, right?

The truth is, there's just as much merit choosing a franchise operating in a well-established market. Sure, there may be extra competition, but trailblazing means having to write the book on a whole new way of doing business. That might not be what you had in mind when you decided to open your own franchise. Instead of running headlong into a franchise agreement with a business servicing a limited community of consumers, franchisees should leverage their choices against big name players. After all, the most famous franchises are the ones who get the most recognition.

Start with the industry you'd like to operate in first – be it hospitality, food service, electronics retail – and weigh all the options available narrowing down the list.

Consult a franchise attorney
When a prospective franchisee finally considers buying into one franchise over others, it's important they have all the perspective they need before making an informed decision and signing on. For many people, this will mean hiring a franchise attorney to help them parse through the details.

According to Entrepreneur, there are thousands of attorneys specializing in franchise law located all over the country, perhaps even one or two nearby. These legal experts can walk potential franchisees through the signing process and explain the risks and rewards of taking such an enterprise. This will prevent confusion down the road and set franchisees up for success right out the gate.

Equipment and franchise industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.