Franchising is like buying a “business in a box.” You open up the box and out pops a ready-made business with systems, products and marketing materials. Your business may be successful immediately because people already know what you sell and who you are and flock to buy your product. Think “McDonald’s” where you instantly know all about the food, the building and even the restrooms. You may not need experience in the franchisor’s industry or perhaps even in business itself. If you have money to invest, the time to train and the ability to get financing, then that may be all it takes and you could be a business owner!
Franchises provide you with brand recognition, training, operational support, ongoing marketing support, help with choosing a location and negotiating a lease (if you have a brick and mortar location), as well as provide support for all those unexpected issues that happen in the course of doing business. Did a rat just climb out of the sewer drain and start running around your restaurant? Did the forecast for a hurricane just mean your business is forecasted to be in the eye of the storm? Did a bunch of con artists just try to rip off one of your cashiers? These types of issues do occur, albeit rarely, and a good franchisor can provide guidance (they will be careful to steer you to a lawyer if it involves legal issues) and be a calm voice in a storm. If they have a lot of franchises, they’ve probably already heard it all before.
Franchising can alleviate a lot of risk. Perhaps you strongly feel the urge to be your own boss. You could take a few years to research the industry trends, develop a product or set up your own business, however, by purchasing a franchise your timeline just got shorter. You have a ready-made product, you will be presented with the company’s sales and success in the industry and you will have lots of help in every area of the business. It’s like having someone hold your hand in every phase of the startup and operations.
Franchises can be great and some can be “not so great”. This book isn’t meant to steer you either which way in making a decision but it is a cautionary tale of what you should consider and look out for. Nothing is guaranteed in life and business carries risk. The following just may help you make a big decision or at the very least, know what to look out for when making a choice of, “To Franchise or Not to Franchise!”
This book is also available as a video course on Udemy.com