Picture this: you’ve decided that you need to get out of the rat race. You talk it over with your spouse and they are very supportive of the idea. So now what? You sit down with a piece of paper in your dining room and stare at it. “What do I want to do?” you ask yourself aloud.
Different types of businesses are popular: there’s the traditional start-it-yourself business where you take an idea and run with it, wrestling it from conception to success. There’s the Multi-Level or Network marketing model which receives a fair amount of criticism for its elusive success, but still remains hugely popular.
Or there’s the franchise model. And a franchise may be something you want to consider.
1. Franchises usually provide the support and training you need, from how to use their products or services to how to market and grow your business. You get more training and support this way than with starting your own business from scratch.
2. Franchises can often qualify for cheaper products for your inventory because they may get volume discounts from the number of other franchisees who are also buying the same products.
3. You usually get an exclusive territory to run your business, knowing that the only competition you have is with those who offer the same products from a different company.
4. Depending on the company, you may get massive regional or even national marketing support and brand recognition. That means you don’t have to go around convincing people of your legitimacy as a business; you already have that legitimacy.
5. Franchises that have been around for awhile often come with a tried-and-true method of success that you can follow with similar expectations.
1. Franchises usually have a series of requirements, including equipment, personnel, and finances. Lacking these requirements may be prohibitive to starting your business.
2. Franchises sometimes have substantial buy-in costs up-front and on-going franchise fees on a continuous basis. While there is some value in this (you’re getting the name recognition and automatic legitimacy) it can cut into your profit margin by quite a bit.
3. Although you are an independent operator, you may not feel the same level of satisfaction by being one of many franchisees as you may feel by starting and running your very own business.
But is it right for you? Look at some of the franchises out there. Many of them are trades-related, making them perfect for the entrepreneur who is good with his or her hands. Perhaps you are looking for just the right business but don’t want to have to build your business from scratch.
Don’t let the expenses fool you: they are often high to start. However, remember that they are quantified up-front whereas your own “from scratch” business may not seem that high (but in reality could be quite high, but is simply not fully quantified).
Franchises are about as close to a “business-in-a-box” as you can get. It’s like the lawnmower that you pull the cord to start: it requires some effort to begin, but once you get going it practically runs itself. Although no franchise can guarantee success, you will experience a greater likelihood of success by buying into and following a franchise model than by starting your own business.