Every entrepreneur is faced with this choice at some point in his or her career, making the decision to buy into a franchise or take over an existing business. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons and it’s important to know what those are before committing your time and money to one or the other.
You should first decide how much of a commitment you’re prepared to make to your new endeavor. Are you enthusiastic about the day-to-day hands-on participation in the operation of the business or do you prefer to be less involved and let others deal with the running of things?
Once you’ve found those answers, think about your willingness to be part of a structured framework in the operation of your enterprise. Can you be part of a network that comes with a defined system of operational procedure or do you need to be the one in charge of everything, making the decisions for your business every step of the way?
This is critical because a successful franchisee must understand that they are one piece of a much larger puzzle. Your store is a representative of a major brand, one that the public has come to understand and trust as a supplier of a certain kind of product or service and a level of quality to match.
As a franchisee, you are tasked with maintaining that public trust by offering that product or service identically to every other franchise business for that particular brand.
That’s just one of the many things to consider as you contemplate going with a franchise business or buying into something more traditional. Here are just some of the factors to take into account as you make your choice:
When you buy into a franchise, you’re buying into stable and popular brand respect from the general public. Think about some of the biggest brands in the world, when you patronize any of them, you’re expecting to be given a product or service that meets a certain standard.
As a franchisee you are responsible for reaching that standard and that means working within the parameters of the franchise company’s criteria. You are not supposed to take a tried and true formula and change it to fit your vision for the product. That would be detrimental to the brand itself.
In order to reap the benefits of the public’s familiarity with a brand, you have less autonomy to act on your own, which is something you have more leeway with on an independent enterprise.
To expand a bit further on the brand familiarity concept, franchisees are given a preset system of operations to follow. Once you buy in, you are given a set of steps to follow and they must be followed to the letter.
Simply put, you may own the franchise location that you’ve purchased but in many ways you are still an employee of the franchising company to some extent. You must comply with all mandatory procedures for running the business that have been put in place possibly for decades. If you start to mess with that, you could be putting your business and the brand at risk.
Outfitting the Business
As a new business owner, your job is to determine what your endeavor needs to operate on a daily basis in order to succeed. That can take up a lot of your time and it could even cost a pretty penny in making the wrong purchases.
But when you buy into a franchise company, all of those things have been worked out already. You are given the exact specifications as to the equipment and supplies that are needed in order to start your business and get it up and running. In some cases, the franchise company provides you with the exact supplies necessary.
Every good business owner knows that your company can sink or swim based on good marketing. What may not be as apparent is how to go about getting the word out on your business. But that’s not a concern you need to worry over as a franchise owner because, much like the operational aspects of your business, the marketing for your enterprise have also been predetermined for you.
It’s up to you to continue those promotions and advertising campaigns in your place of business so that the public is well aware that you are ready to serve them in their community. Going it alone means creating a marketing strategy of your own or hiring experts to do it for you. That can make buying into a regular business a more expensive proposition.
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss franchising opportunities in your region, give First Choice Business Brokers a call and we’ll be happy to talk to you about the right business venture.