For those with entrepreneurial minds and hearts, the idea of owning a franchise may come across as a very appealing prospect.
Nowadays, just about any product or service that you can think of is available via one or more franchising operations. The top franchising operations have remained those that deal with fast food – a popular example of these is Burger King. There are also fine examples of franchising operations for products and services as varied as housekeeping (Maids Home Service), repair shops (Meineke Car Care Centre), dance and exercise (Jazzercise Inc.), hardware (Ace Hardware Stores), tax preparation (Jackson Hewitt), and hair salons (Great Clips Hair Care), to name a few.
Statistics from the International Franchise Association estimate that the US has approximately 400,000 franchised locations spanning across 75 industries and hiring a total of 10 million persons. In excess of 2,500 companies in the country offer franchising opportunities. The question that come up is whether an entrepreneur should start his/her business from scratch or buy a franchise.
1The Responsibilities of Buying a Franchise Business
A lot of thought needs to go into the decision of buying a franchise business because quite frankly, even though people sometimes think it will be easy, nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that franchisors provide start-up training and progressive support, but the onus is squarely on the franchisee to manage the business – in most cases hands-on management is required. This means that as the manager you will be required to put in long hours, sometimes 60-70hrs/week, hire and fire employees, ensure that the premises remains clean, and handle many dissatisfied customers.
2Will You Enjoy Running a Franchise?
A common misconception among people who want to open franchise businesses is that there is plenty of money to be made. To their dismay, they find out that business isn’t as enjoyable as they initially anticipated. The bottom line is that one shouldn’t rush into matters – it is certainly prudent to consider your tastes and preferences and buy a franchise business you can run enjoyably 10-15 years into the future.
3Can You Fully Adopt The Franchisor's System?
Franchising is all about the operation of multiple outlets that are all consistent in the manner that products and services are offered, regardless of the location. People visiting franchises that display similar logos but located on different continents are always assured of being served via a similar system. There are entrepreneurs who are not particularly keen on following established systems but rather prefer to do things their own way – for those people, buying a franchise business may not be such a good an idea.