Not connecting with existing franchisees — It's important to get a feel for the franchisor/franchisee relationship by reaching out to existing franchisees for advice and insight. They can be vital in determining if this endeavor is right for you.
Failing to consult an expert (lawyer, accountant, real estate consultant) — It's important to consult with experts, especially when you are making the potentially biggest purchase of your life. It will be money well spent.
Disregarding opportunities in industries that don’t initially appeal to you — Didn't envision yourself as an Andy's Frozen Custard connoisseur? Sometimes the most profitable business endeavors are not what you imagined. This doesn’t mean the product or service isn’t in huge demand or the business model isn’t solid. Explore the unexpected, you might be surprised!
Not properly planning for your own salary or financial needs — It often takes time to make back the money you invest in a business, and not planning for the lack of income can put you in a bind. Make sure to plan for the "growth period" of your new business in advance of signing the franchise agreement.
Not fully understanding the Franchise Agreement — The Franchise Agreement that you sign is the letter of the law when it comes to what you will be expected to abide by. Read it and understand it so you are prepared to hold up your end of the bargain.