Is the cost of opening a franchise business the same as opening your own retail store?

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The cost of opening a franchise may vary from the cost of opening an independent retail store and it might be more or less.  The bad news is that you're going to have to pay fees in a franchise that you won't have to in an independent operation.  The good news is that you may save a great deal of money in a franchise based on the buying power of the chain and the fact that they can recommend exactly what you'll need so you won't waste money buying inventory and supplies that you find out you didn't need.  Don't be afraid to put the question to a franchisor directly in terms of whether it will cost more than an independent operation and, if so, why should you pay the extra?  Evaluate the answer and then make the best decision for you.
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