You have a choice: You can be an independent business owner or you can invest in a franchise opportunity. Which option you choose depends on a lot of factors having to do with your personality, finances, motivation, experience, market niche, product or service longevity, business acumen and level of tenacity. There is no universally right choice.
Let’s look at some of your options.
STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
If you’re the independent type who always wants to run every detail of a project, perhaps you should look into stating your own business instead of buying a franchise.
Keep in mind that most franchisors started out as independent small business owners before franchising their concepts. They plowed every spare nickel and most spare moments into the business – not just for a few months but for a number of years. A dedicated, small independent business owner never gives up and is willing to put everything on the line to see the business succeed. This approach to business offers few safety nets, and the only one making mistakes along the way is you. The support system you have is whatever you can create and sustain on your own.
But if you have an innovative product or cutting-edge service that is currently not being offered to consumers, or maybe just a better way than is available elsewhere in the market, you may want to look into striking out on your own. Business groups, local banking institutions, universities and area chambers of commerce offer a wide range of support seminars and other group benefits.
BECOMING A FRANCHISEE – IN BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF NOT BY YOURSELF
Becoming a franchisee, with a solid franchisor, removes much of the guess-work of running a business, along with most of the mistakes that independent start-ups make. That’s part of what you’re buying when you purchase a franchise from a mature franchise system; a proven system of operation with the kinks already worked out for you.
This IFA (International Franchise Association), sponsored a study conducted by Arthur Anderson & Co. – 1992, finding that 96.9% of franchised businesses opened in the past five years are still in operation.
In the end, joining a franchise or starting an independent business is a personal choice only you can make. The trade off is more personal freedom and no fees to pay on your own, versus lower risk and a proven model to follow joining a good organization.