Owning a franchise business is a great way for many people to start their own business with a lot of help and a much better chance at long term survival of the business. For those searching to be their own boss people are practically lining up to buy franchises, especially with many white collar layoffs.
Ok, a confession. I am a former franchise owner. I owned a franchise for five years, having successfully purchased a territory, built up a franchise and then sold it. The day I sold it felt like I had been freed from indentured servitude.
Owning Your Own Franchise- The Reality
My fellow franchise owners used to joke that owning a franchise is like buying yourself a job. The fact is unless you have a LOT of money and purchase a McDonald’s type franchise, you are going to work that franchise yourself for 10-12 hours a day. Vacations are a rarity because, after all, who runs your business when you are not there? An employee? Maybe.
Look, I don’t want to discourage anyone here, but the reality is this. I worked 10-12 hours a day most days and at the end of the week barely made money to pay myself. Oh, I had to pay the franchisor the royalty fee (6%), pay my employees, their unemployment, workmen’s comp, rent, advertising, utilities and cars. Yes, I worked for myself but the point in any business is to make money. Not just make some. You know that guy who owns that local Quiznos? He’s probably taking home $60K tops after his 12 hour days, six days a week. I know this because I befriended someone who owned one and he was distraught that he had to work such long hours for such lousy pay. Again, it was his own business but he sure wasn’t happy because he had left a six figure job for a $60K one.
The Business Model for This Century
The equation changes, however, when you consider an online franchise business. I say franchise and use the term loosely because they aren’t really a franchise. Most allow you to sell their product and pay you a great commission on them. They, in turn, provide websites, e-mail responders and all kinds of training. You provide the time, sweat and ad money.
Ok, so I have done both. Which do I recommend? It’s not even close – an online franchise or online business. Look at it this way. I had a franchise. I was tied to a certain geographic area where my franchise business was located. Now, I pack up the ‘ol computer and hit the road. I run my business from anywhere I happen to be. In the South in the winter and in the North in the summer. Plus, it runs 24/7 and I market to the world. On the Internet with 1.6 billion English speaking people and growing on it. If I decide to take a day off, I do. The leads keep coming in as does the money. No employee is there to screw it up.
You want to make sure you pick a company with a great reputation that has been around for a while. A company that has reasonable costs and gives you real benefits and which offers products you believe in. Plus, you want a system that will mentor you. You know, someone who has been there, done that, that you can call and talk to.
As a former franchise owner I can only say if I had known about this in 2000 I would never have invested in a brick and mortar franchise and instead picked an online business which provides me with much more time, freedom and money!