The entrepreneurial spirit is a fundamental part of American culture. Almost everyone dreams of one day owning their own business, doing things their way and keeping the profits instead of directing them toward someone else.
Of course, most of us never take that chance. With bills to pay and commitments to accommodate, we typically stay in a job and keep the business confined to our dreams. While there are certainly practical considerations for going that route, it may not be as hard as we often assume it is to strike out on our own.
The most common mistake people make in giving up on an entrepreneurial dream is ignoring franchising as an opportunity. They incorrectly assume that owning a franchise requires you to give up some autonomy (and money) to a greedy corporation, all for the privilege of carrying their name.
That is wrong. The fact is that best franchises to own maintain a high degree of independence for their local franchisees.
They understand that franchising provides the best of both worlds: A large corporation with the resources to succeed in any feasible market, and an owner with the right skills and the ability to make things happen at the local level.
Here’s how this partnership works.
Easier Product Development
Why reinvent the wheel? Isn’t it easier to be a local distributor of a terrific wheel that somebody else already developed? It just makes sense to let others use their skills in product development to create something that takes advantage of your skills in management.
Bear in mind that product development is not a one-time event. In order to keep your business fresh and your revenue high, you must have an evolution in your offerings. And when the work of facility upkeep, staff management, and bookkeeping have you too busy to go back to the proverbial lab, you can really benefit from having a corporate network for developing your products.
When you start a business, the first thing you have to do is let people know who you are. Next, you need to communicate what you do. With a franchise, those steps are taken care of. The market already knows what The UPS Store is. All you have to do is tell them that you’re there and this first task is done.
And it’s not just the name. It’s the packaging, the signs, and even the ads you hear on the radio or see on TV. Franchising gives you a comprehensive marketing package that is established and recognizable. And best of all, they know when to update branding to keep it modern and fresh, so that you can maintain the attention of your customers.
This section could really just be called “Support”. If you run an independent, non-franchised business, you have no one out there watching the market. There’s no one tracking trends in customer behavior, evaluating advertising effectiveness, or helping your brand evolve naturally. You have no support.
With a franchise, you have all those things and more. If you own a restaurant franchise, the corporate staff is busy doing market research all the time, helping position you for the next great opportunity in your business. These are the people who would see the low-carb diets gaining popularity and the growing demand for trendy products like Angus beef. They cover all these things while you’re busy handling day-to-day operations.
If franchising still feels like a compromise in comparison to the tradition of hanging out your shingle, remember this: The company you franchise probably did get its start that very way. Franchising is a great way to have your own business and to do so without such vulnerability in a very competitive economy.