As part of your franchise search, you may very well be...
It can be difficult to find the exact Canadian franchise opportunity you're been searching for only to discover that you have no idea how to finance it. There are traditional loan routes worth considering, of course, and some franchisors offer financing or assist franchisees with obtaining it. However, if these aren't options for you or you don't want to go that route, consider the potential sources of money hidden all around you.
People tend to think of investment accounts as being for retirement or emergencies only. However, borrowing from there now could, in fact, turn into a more comfortable life later if your business succeeds. Keep in mind that taking funds from an investment may have penalties, but that money could end up doing more for you earlier. Run the numbers and do your homework. If you can cover the cost of liquidating your investments with a very conservative estimate of your franchise's anticipated revenue, your investment may work harder for you in your franchise than in its fund.
Your home is possibly your biggest single investment, and it may also be a source of liquid capital if you have equity available. A second mortgage can free up money that is technically already yours. However, do keep in mind that you will be using your home as collateral for the loan, meaning it's at risk if a time comes when you can't make the loan payments.
It's easy to forget the value of things you already own. An antique, a collection of valued items you're no longer in to, or that boat that almost never hits the water could be sold to finance your new business.
Of course, many people cringe at the mere idea of asking family and friends for money. However, your family and friends will likely want to help you, so there's no harm in making a list of people who may want to lend to you at a reasonable interest rate. It will still be easier than dealing with a traditional lender, and the lending person will make some money while helping you out.
No matter how much you trust the lending person and vice versa, however, make sure the loan agreement is in writing. This keeps it professional and prevents the possibility of a misunderstanding over any terms later.
All franchises carry an initial investment, but you may already have potential sources of money around you to help fund it. Do some thinking to see what you can uncover to help you become a new business owner.