If you’re in the market for a profitable business opportunity, you’ve probably considered buying a franchise and watching it grow into a successful national enterprise. But purchasing a franchise requires a lot of thought and even more dedication. That’s why it’s crucial to take your time and find the one that’s right for you. Whether you’ve got your eye on a Chem-Dry Franchise or a fast food chain, you need to pick a franchise that’s in line with your interests and values. If you choose a franchise that isn’t aligned with what you care about, you run the risk of losing interest and, in the long term, losing money. Before you dive head-first into an opportunity that isn’t right for you, you need to take some time to actually throw your lot in with a business that’s going to help you grow alongside it. Before picking a franchise to buy, here are some tips for finding the best one for you.

Figure Out What You’re Passionate About

Before you do anything, think about what you actually want from a franchise. Don’t think about the amount of money you’re likely to make or lose. Think about what kind of work or what kind of service actually appeals to you. Do you like the idea of getting involved with a successful food chain? Do you want to work in the world of retail? Are you interested in providing a universal service like dry cleaning or auto repair? Before going into it blind, you have to know what you’re actually doing this for. If you choose a franchise that won’t bring you at least some joy, or won’t make you feel like what you’re doing is worth it, all the long, hard hours and stress of the first few years will wear on you quickly, and you’ll be more likely to give up once you realize that instant success isn’t a likelihood. If you’re going to go all in on a business idea, really make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about or something you’re eager to learn more about from a business perspective.

Choose a Proven Market

While it might seem like the better choice to fill a community need by franchising something that isn’t oversaturated in the market, this might actually cause you trouble in the long run. While it’s great to take risks, you shouldn’t put your money into something that has a higher risk of failure. That means an idea that no one has found a way to really capitalize on or a brand that has a tarnished reputation. While there’s always the possibility that you’ll turn things around and create the first great gummy bear franchise or revitalize a brand’s bad rep, if you’re a newcomer to franchising, you’ll want to stick to something that’s a bit safer. That means looking for a proven market: An area that’s just saturated enough, but where there’s still room for more opportunity.

Go with a Trusted Name

Before you start looking for a franchise to purchase, try looking for brands who have a great image and study them. What makes them so successful, outside of the product or service they offer? If you can find a brand that you really stand behind, do some research about their past. Did they have any reputation problems in the past? How did they overcome these issues? Is there anything potentially problematic about their current business profile? Are there ways you could update the brand image without alienating past customers? Ask yourself these questions and try to be honest about the answers. If you’re researching a franchise and you’re simply seeing too much scandal in their past, walk away.

Be Honest About Income Needs

Not every franchise is going to provide you with the income you need even if it becomes successful after a few years. Before getting involved with a franchise, you have to make sure you’re okay with making less for a few years. You also have to be honest about your long-term expectations. What if you’re in a position where you aren’t making as much as you’d planned? Would you be okay with that, or would it make you want to quit? This won’t just help you advocate for what you need financially. It will help you figure out whether you’re pursuing a franchise for the right reasons.

Set Your Terms

Once you’ve found the franchise for you, it’s time to lay out exactly what you need and expect by drawing up a contract. If you can negotiate easily with the current franchiser, that should tell you a lot about how future relations between you are going to be. If you find it’s an uphill process, you’ll be able to step back and see if it’s really worth it to throw in your lot with this business.