Every business-minded individual dreams of success when investing in a franchise opportunity, and there are many different tricks and techniques employed in building and running a successful franchise unit. However, there are a few universal building blocks that prospective franchisees should keep an eye out for when determining whether or not to buy.

Franchisees should first look at the structure of the franchise program, according to FranchiseKnowHow.com. It should be set up so franchisees are not required to achieve extraordinary performances operationally of financially just to succeed. To determine this, potential buyers should investigate to see if current franchisees are earning a return-on-investment equal to their original investment. If not, this is a franchise system they may want to shy away from.

A franchise system must be open to and demonstrate the ability to change. If a marketing strategy or certain products or services are failing to attract the targeted clientele, franchisors should show they are looking for alternatives, writes the Web site. Prospective franchisees want to be a part of a system that will be able to adapt to new trends and the economic atmosphere.

Prospective franchisees should look for systems with strong leadership involvement. While it may be tempting to invest in an opportunity that suits a more independent frame of mind, hands-off franchisors do not provide the support the system requires. Instead, franchisees should seek systems in which the leadership is aware of unit failures and successes.

"There is no room for 'surprises' when it comes to franchise operations. Whatever the forum, franchisee feedback must flow to franchisor leadership," explains the Web site.

Good franchise system leadership will not only be open to receive feedback from franchisees, but it will solicit such comments and suggestions from them as well. If the franchisor is considering make changes to its operational or marketing strategies, franchisees should be involved.

Franchisors are highly invested in the success of their franchisees. As a result, they should provide viable and effective training programs as an ongoing activity, not just a startup exercise, writes FranchiseKnowHow. These programs can help identify and then rectify operational weaknesses.

As important as it is for prospective franchisees to thoroughly vet a franchise system, they should also turn that attention inward and ask themselves what they want out of a franchise business and what skills they bring to the table.

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!