There is a reason that people compare starting a business to jumping off a cliff. It’s because even with a ton of preparation and skill, introducing a new product or service to your community is full of unknowns. You can never guarantee a company’s success. You can only hope that all of your hard work will pay off…well, most of the time.
There are some businesses that are safer to open than others and most of the time those businesses are franchise operations.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the words “franchise opportunity” before. You’ve also probably chalked them up there with words like “multi level marketing opportunity” and “get rich quick!” It’s okay, that’s what most people do. It’s hard to take something seriously when the place you hear about it most is an infomercial you catch during a bout of insomnia.
The reality, though, is that franchises are not the same thing as an MLM or “get rich quick” scheme. These are real and already fully fleshed out businesses that you can buy and open up under your own management. You see them all the time, you probably just didn’t realize it. Most fast food restaurants, for example, are franchise businesses. UPS stores are often franchises. A lot of retail shops are also franchise operations. There are even franchise opportunities for people who want to start a cleaning business, which would make you a part of the $100 billion commercial cleaning industry.
So how do you decide if a franchise opportunity is right for you?
The best way to figure out whether or not you should open a franchise is to ask yourself what you really want from your potential business. Do you want to grow something from the ground up? Or is your goal simply to finally be the one in charge? People who want to grow something do better going into business for themselves with a product or service of their own. If you have management skills, though, and your problem is more that you lack “a thing of your own,” a franchise opportunity is a better bet.
Another question you’ll want to ask yourself is how much money you have and want to spend. If you don’t have a lot of money, you will likely be better trying to build your own company in your spare time, around your existing day job. If you’ve got some money saved, though, a franchise is a good idea. Most franchise opportunities require a deposit up front–to help get the business started–and then the owner (that’s you) takes a portion of the profits made by the company. Another benefit to the franchise is that the marketing and promotional materials are usually paid for by the parent company. You just ride on the name-recognition.
Finally, how much control do you really need to have to be happy? Type A’s (the micromanaging types) probably won’t get a lot of satisfaction out of opening a franchise. A franchise, remember, is a branch of a larger company. Most of what the franchise owner can and cannot do in terms of product, marketing, etc, is dictated by the “mother ship.” If you have a hard time relinquishing even a little bit of control, you’ll do better with a company you build yourself. If your strengths, though, are in numbers and keeping a ship running (as opposed to creativity and control), a franchise is a great option.
It’s important, if you decide that you want to open a franchise, that you do your research. Make sure you understand all of the legalities of owning and running a franchise. Don’t sign any contracts without first running them past a lawyer. It’s also good to take a look at a few different franchise opportunities. If you hate the idea of serving food, look for franchise opportunities in different sectors (like cleaning, painting, etc).
Whatever you decide, accept that there is some risk. That’s why so many people are terrified when they open companies of their own. At the same time, the line that separates terror from excitement is razor-thin. Don’t you want to try your luck at walking that wire?
Article submitted by Community Writer.