Striving for new goals is a motivating way to get yourself out of the current economic funk. For many people, these goals include the desire to start their own business and become the master of their destiny, and franchising can fit very well into that picture.
Here are the top 10 reasons to select a franchise opportunity if you want to own your own business.
1. Track Record of Success. Any good franchise company has developed a method of doing business that works well and produces successful results. Even better, they're required to provide you with a great deal of information in their required disclosures so you can investigate and verify the results with existing franchisees prior to making your final decision.
2. Strong Brand. One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you're trying to attract.
3. Training Programs. A good franchise company has training programs designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. They should also have reference materials to assist you in dealing with whatever comes up while you're running your business.
4. Ongoing Operational Support. Franchise companies have staff dedicated to providing ongoing assistance to franchisees. You're not alone when you're building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.
5. Marketing Assistance. The franchise company has marketing assistance to provide you with proven tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers. Usually, the staff helps you develop the actual marketing plans and budgets for your grand opening as well as your ongoing efforts to market your business effectively.
6. Real Estate Assistance. Most franchises have manuals and other documentation, as well as staff, to help you find the right site and negotiate the best possible deal on your site. This is a very important advantage that can hold costs down and provide the best possible chance of success in any site-driven business.
7. Construction Assistance. Franchise companies can also provide a wonderful benefit in helping you design the layout of the business and select the right contractors to do your build out, as well as making sure you get the exact mix of furniture and equipment you need to maximize the efficiency of your initial investment.
8. Purchasing Power. A good franchise can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator. This applies not only to initial furniture and equipment purchases, but also to the supplies, inventory, uniforms and everything else you'll need on an ongoing basis.
9 & 10. Risk Avoidance. This one is so important that we'll call it both 9 and 10! The biggest reason to buy a franchise is that, if you're smart, it will help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business. Make no mistake--you have to do your due diligence, but if you do, you can determine with a fair amount of certainty what happen if you become a new franchisee.
As you look at this list, it not only shows a number of reasons to think about getting a franchise--it also shows you just some of the major challenges you'll face if you have to create all these things yourself in an independent business. You do have to pay fees in a franchise that you could avoid in an independent business, but it's kind of like the guy in the Fram Oil Filter commercials who says, "You can pay me now or you can pay me later." You can pay the franchisor the fees, or you can pay for many expensive mistakes by not learning the lessons of others that have gone before you. Using a franchise to meet your goal of starting a new business is a wonderful approach for most people, for all these reasons and many more.
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.