If you're a prospective franchise I highly recommend a series of articles written by Robert Purvin, Chairman and CEO of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, on franchising myths. One of his best articles touches on the myth that Franchising Provides a "Proven Franchise Business System".
I hear this one all the time. For some reason prospective franchisees automatically assume that because a business has franchised it has a system in place that will lead to profitability. Sadly, this just isn't always the case.
Franchise businesses fail at roughly the same rate as independent businesses. If you are considering a franchise business, be sure to do your homework. Visit franchise locations, talk to as many franchisees as possible and carefully consider whether purchasing a franchise business (which usually includes higher initial fees and costs) is better than starting your own independent business. Often, you will find with many franchise businesses that the system is far from "proven".