Starting a franchise is something that shouldn't be taken lightly - it's a long-term business investment. For that reason, potential owners need to think about how a potential franchise will perform in the future, Entrepreneur magazine reports.

Potential owners should first think about the product that the franchise sells, and whether it will still be needed in the coming years, the magazine advises. A company that takes advantage of a fad or other short-term interest may do well at first, but it could also leave a potential owner with a franchise that isn't performing down the road.

The site says a company's past performance can also be a strong indicator of the franchise's overall financial strength. Looking back at how the franchise has performed during both good and bad economies can show what steps the company should take when similar conditions occur.

Small business and franchise owners are currently taking advantage of the poor condition of the commercial real estate market. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that many landlords are offering franchises incentives to fill up vacant storefronts.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #9 on the fastest growing franchises list of the 2010 Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!