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Big Things Come in Small Packages – The Value of Micro-Franchise Brands For entrepreneurs looking for small-scale business opportunities, micro-franchises might be the best route.

By Jeff Cheatham

This story appears in the September 2022 issue of Start Up.

What if you could operate a franchise from home? That is the promise of the microfranchise, which has all of the attributes of a traditional franchise business model, but with a smaller operation that can be mobile-or home-based. This can be perfect for first-time franchise buyers and budding entrepreneurs alike.

The fundamental appeal of the microfranchise is the ability to start a small operation that targets a specific, often niche low-cost product or service in a high-traffic or high-volume territory. Owners begin with a targeted effort that starts small but grows larger as the initial profits are reinvested in the business. While microfranchises can be found across a wide variety of industries, some of the most common examples include residential and commercial cleaning, kiosk-based retail operations, dog-walking, and pet-sitting. Here are three benefits of microfranchises.

A close brand relationship.

Thanks to a microfranchise's scalable nature, the relationship between franchisor and franchisee can be much more intimate than a normal franchise partnership. "I was able to learn so much from our franchise brand owner and felt he really wanted to see us succeed," says Noel Trim, who, along with her husband, Jason, owns a property maintenance microfranchise called Second Home Care in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. "I felt secure and safe making this leap with their help and leadership."

Related: From Poop Scooping to Dryer-Vent Cleaning: Why Hyper-Niche, 'Micro' Franchises Are Booming

A little less risk.

Microfranchising is growing in less-developed countries, and the concept has helped lift many people out of poverty. They often require less investment than a typical franchise while offering the same upside of selling a known entity in a specific territory. Also, because of the operation's scalability and lower price-point, franchisees don't have to maintain large inventories. Microfranchisors also typically provide marketing, advertising, and promotional initiatives for the franchise system — one less headache for new owners. More than anything else, the simple fact is that there's always less risk when you can grow and expand at your own pace.

Related: 4 Essential Things to Know About Franchising

A business entryway.

With a microfranchise, budding entrepreneurs and existing franchisee candidates can get in the entrepreneurial game without a big, upfront investment — while still getting all the help and benefits of following a proven business model. This built-in systemization can make microfranchises an especially appealing choice for first-time business owners who want to dip a toe in. Though, of course, it's always advisable to do your own research and seek the counsel of franchising professionals to assist in your efforts. After all, micro or not, only you can decide which franchise is best for you.

Related: These People Signed Up to Be a Brand's First-Ever Franchisee. How Did That Go?

Jeff Cheatham

Founder and CEO of Creative Content

Jeff Cheatham is the founder and CEO of Creative Content, a full-service copywriting and public relations firm. He's based in Dallas and works with multiple B2B clients and over a dozen franchise brands to develop proprietary content campaigns for lead generation and sales development programs.


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