A franchise is not nearly as risky as starting a business from scratch, but you will pay dearly for the extra padding that a good opportunity will provide. Franchise fees, equipment, working with approved suppliers, sticking with prescribed products and services, conforming to brand image and being held to specific procedures and policies are just a few examples of what can be expected when signing a contract. While this may sound a little like working for someone else, a franchise still provides you with freedom, opportunity to set your own income and earnings and grow your business as your time, resources, talent and luck allow. Any franchise will have some conditions and operational limitations, but if you are interested in working under the umbrella of a particular brand, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
The real question that you should be asking yourself is whether or not you are ready to take on the responsibility of venturing out on your own and starting your own business. Even though a franchise is easier to start up than a business that you begin from scratch, the same fundamental and underlying requirements for success and happiness exist. You should take a look at whether your personality, experience and overall needs and expectations are aligned with what going into business for yourself involves. There are a lot of rewards that come with being your own boss, but there is also a lot of risk and insecurity- even in the franchise business that is far different than what you encountered as an employee before.
Are you ready to be independent? This is the first thing that you should ask before even considering a franchise opportunity. As a small business owner, you will lose a lot of the security that having a regular job provides. As an employee, you do not usually carry the legal obligations and risk that your company does. You get a steady paycheck, benefits, time off and the ability to advance through the company and build your resume. You generally know what to expect from day to day as you go to work, and even if you do not have a good day, you still get paid. As a franchises, all of these comforts are gone. You are responsible for your own success and earnings. You need to provide your own insurance, pay your own social security taxes and make sure that your business is in compliance with a host of rules, regulations and laws.
You need to consider your own retirement, and taking a vacation will probably not be on the radar for quite some time as you will be focused on building your business. Each day will present new and unique challenges that may require long hours and little sleep. If you have a bad day, you may lose money. If you have a good day, you may break-even or make a profit, but the consistency is usually not there until you have spent a good deal of time patiently building your business and growing your pool of customers. These are just a few things to think about before you decide to go on your own, and you should definitely avoid jumping into opening your own company until you are ready and able to do it successfully.
Being your own boss and having your own business has a lot of rewards as well, and if you are independent, like the challenge of calling your own shots and charting your own course, then you will probably be a great fit for a franchise. If you are a maverick who would rather take a risk than earn a paycheck then you should definitely start working towards building a business that you can call your own. If you enjoy the pride of building something with your own hands and watching it grow and succeed, if you are willing to take risk, loneliness and the lack of security that you found in your previous job, then you may also benefit from a franchise.
It is tempting to consider a franchise, especially when the industry is growing at such a rapid and strong pace. The reduction in risk, the opportunity to tie into a recognizable brand and start making money is something that attracts many people to this particular business model. However, you need to look at your own expectations, limitations and personality before taking the plunge and investing the money, time and energy that will be required. If you are happier with the security of a job, then you are probably not going to be happy with owning your own franchise. You can consider easing into something that you build on your own part-time in your off-hours until you get to the point where you are ready.
You are not only trying to become successful with a franchise, but you are also trying to be happy as well. So, make sure that you are personally ready to take on the challenges of being your own boss before you start to bask in the glory of the idea of running your own business. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and sadly many people jump into a franchise before they really take a good self-assessment, and they fail miserably. Don’t be one of them. Make sure that you know yourself, what you want from life and what you are capable of doing before you sign anything.
Once you know that you are ready to start your own franchise, then you can shop around, explore opportunities and narrow your search. There are no shortage of opportunities out there to take advantage of, and choosing a franchise in the right industry, at the right time and in the right location can translate into phenomenal success. However, if you are not ready to be your own boss, to take the bull by the horns and to direct the course of your own future, then you should take a step back and think twice about going down this road.