Taking advantage of a franchise opportunity can be challenging at best, and sometimes entrepreneurs do not have a checklist in place when they make an initial purchase. If you want to run a small business opportunity, you've got to keep some important tips in mind. Take a look at the following suggestions for opening, operating and managing a franchise.

Determine a worthwhile location - The location of your store will mean the difference between a bevy of customers or a complete lack of consumers. Think of it this way - if you opened the store on a remote mountain peak, how many people could you realistically expect to make a purchase? Identify a location that is close to a major metro area to increase your initial visibility.

Gather disclosure documents and talk to a lawyer - Before you launch your business, you should take the time to protect yourself from any potential legal liability. A franchise lawyer from the parent company can provide you with all the necessary disclosure documents that you will need to sign.

Be patient - Most franchise locations do not experience overnight success, so be patient if your first few months of operation are a little slow. As the saying goes, "good things come to those who wait."

Surround yourself with the right people - Regardless of the reputation of your parent corporation, your local employees are going to be what makes the difference in your particular store. Make sure you surround yourself with people who are going to challenge and motivate you to do your best instead of simple underlings who will follow your every order.

Don't lose sight of your greater vision - Chances are you chose a franchise in an industry you love. There is always room for growth, and the most successful franchisors are those who do not lose sight of the bigger picture. Be sure to stay in touch with your roots once you succeed, because the humble start-up phase is an experience no one should forget.

Take a risk here and there - Experimentation is the spice of life to a small business owner, and unless an opportunity carries severe financial repercussions, don't forget to branch out a bit. Slightly risky expenditures can often result in a complete redefinition of your business and bring in thousands of dollars in capital.