There are lots of people out there who would like to open their own business but are afraid of pinning all their hopes and dreams (and all their savings!) on a fickle public who may not be willing to take a chance on a place they've never heard of. Luckily, in these types of situations, there's an option between opening a completely new business and sticking with the job you hate - you can buy into a franchise and open a business that already has name recognition and a proven track record.

There are many different franchise opportunities. Ontario's streets are lined with businesses like dentists and that are twins of shops and restaurants that are found in cities and towns all across Canada. Tim Hortons, Yogen Fruz, and H&R Block, are known and licensed across Canada as are hundreds of other businesses that have been imported from the United States, like Century 21 and Hertz Rent-a-Car. There are franchises for all different industries, from restaurants to hotels to financial firms to maid services, sign painters, employment assistance firms, and cleaning companies, so it's easy to match your interests with a franchise that suits your business goals. It's not necessary to even have a degree to start a franchise, but you will need to know enough to present the head office with a solid business plan.

Before you jump in and shell out thousands of dollars for a license to open a new Subway, however, you need to do your research. Find out if your town needs a new Subway. If there are already local Subway franchises or if the people in your town are not fans of fast food or sandwiches, your franchise has a much greater chance at failure. So find out where the local niches are and what franchise opportunities are available to help you fill them. You'll also want to know what obligations you'll be under to the parent company, especially with regard to fee structures for the license and the procedures you'll be required to follow in order to keep your license. Many franchisees have lost their license because of failure to stay in line with orders handed down from head office.

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