Are you just fed up working for someone else? Too many hours or not enough financial reward? During COVID, many workers put in 60-70 hours per week and were rewarded with a tiny raise. Others did not even get a pat on the back. Have you thought about becoming a business owner as your new career path? Now may be the right time for that. How would you go about making the most informed choice and ensuring your likely success?
Diane Pleuss, MBA, an Independent Franchise Consultant who helps people over 50, women returning to the workplace after raising their children, veterans, and even employed and nervous people or someone who is just unhappy consider the right business to open. “No one comes to me and says I want to buy a franchise. Instead, they say I want to learn more about my options, and franchising is a solid one. Opening a franchise is a solution for a person to get to what they want, which is freedom, flexibility, and financial security.”
There are so many misconceptions about franchise ownership and its costs and benefits. “For example,” says Pleuss, “people immediately think of fast food places like McDonald’s, and these types of franchises require a very hefty investment costing over a million dollars. But there so many others that are less costly options that can produce a great return and high income with a small investment.”
There is an important distinction for people to know, advised Pleuss. There is no direct correlation between what you invest and the dollars you make. Anyone, no matter what your education, can excel in a franchise. You don’t need industry experience because a franchise business structure enables you with training, business operations, and marketing support to succeed. For example, you want to open a hair salon. You are not doing any of the hair coloring or cutting work. Instead, you are going to run the business. You will be hiring employees, managing the people, and possibly having a manager handle day-to-day operations.
A study conducted by FranNet, concluded that 92% of franchises were still in business after two years and 85% after the first five years. Compare that to independent businesses where Investopedia reports that 25% fail within their first year, 50% of the remaining fail within five years, and only 30% of the remaining stay in business for ten years.
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Who Should Be Looking at Franchising?
Anyone who wants a solid start should take a hard look at the franchise option. You own the business but have all the support, training, technology, and infrastructure to support you, so it’s not overwhelming and dramatically increases your chance for success. Sound interesting? Then it might be worth looking into franchise options. People from all walks of life run successful and profitable franchises.
So how do you consider this work option? Here are Pleuss’s tips.
Do a Self-Assessment.
Look at your skills, interests and determine your goals. Essential skills you need are leadership, management, and communications strengths. Understanding and being able to train others on vital customer service and business operations is another critical ability. What is your long-term goal? Ask yourself: Do you want to grow your business and sell it quickly? Do you want to keep it and build generational wealth and eventually pass it on to your family? These answers help guide your decision-making process.
Talk to a franchise consultant
There are so many choices, and not all franchise options are created equal. You do need expert advice before you invest your money. Ask franchise business owners for a referral. You can Google “Franchise Consult” to then review the individual’s qualifications carefully and talk to a few before you select the person to guide you in this complex decision-making process. One place to find 80 consultants with extensive experience is to search FranChoice, which has a matching process. Do note that the consultant’s services are free for you to take advantage of. This advisor can educate you about many different business options, some you may not have known about.
Explore the franchise
Typically, your consultant will help you narrow the business options down to three. Then you need to investigate each possibility thoroughly, compare and contrast the differences between those three potential businesses. At this stage, you are introduced to the franchise company. You’ll learn directly from them all about the business and how it operates. You will talk to owners and get your questions answered. You will also learn about the support, the financial investment, and potential return. There is always an ongoing fee that is part of this business ownership requirement, so you’ll be told what it is and what value you get in return. Frequently as you explore the choices, it is a process of elimination that may determine your final selection choice.
Costs for opening a Franchise
There are many options, but the most common investment to be awarded a franchise is $50,000 – $65,000, which is a one-time fee. It can be as low as $15,000 or over $100,000, depending on the type of business you want. You will also have marketing and advertising expenses. You will need training included in the fee, but you must cover all travel, lodging, and meals yourself. If you lease a storefront, you are responsible for the construction build-out, the signage, and the lease. Any office space you take on is at your own expense too. You also pay for ongoing business operations costs.
Many people have found the economic freedom they crave owning a franchise. It may be the best option for your career and one worth considering.