If you are reading this, you are thinking of jumping off the treadmill and going it alone. Congratulations! For me, starting a business was the best career decision I ever made. The second best career decision was buying a franchise. Is a franchise right for you, though? That depends.
There are people who have a skill that is easily applicable to a start-up business (think programmers, or maybe carpenters). Additionally, these people also have a big vision of where they want their company to go and they have the skills to realize that vision. Then, there is the rest of us. Those of us who do not have that easily transferable skill, or who have some of the skills and vision to realize our dreams, but lack in key areas. For us, franchising is a viable option.
Done properly a franchise is a series of systems encompassing marketing, sales, and business operations that can allow someone to succeed even if she does not have experience in that particular business. Great franchisors also have on-going coaching and training to further insure the success of their franchisees. Finally, you will have a large peer group of fellow franchisees to provide mutual support.
When I decided to go out on my own I had a successful career in event management and sales that I felt would help me be successful as a business owner. I did not have a clue how to turn those skills into a viable business. I found i9 Sports online and was intrigued. I loved the idea of making a difference for kids and I am passionate about sports. But, I had NO experience in running youth sports leagues. By following the systems and processes of my franchisor combined with my own strengths in event planning and sales I have been able to build a successful business, doing something that I could not possibly have done on my own. I have over 115 fellow franchisees that I can network with to share successes and learnings and I have the on-going support and development of the franchisor to keep my business relevant and thriving.
So, if you do not have that specific skill that you can and want to turn into a business, or if you feel you need some structure and support, then buying a franchise can be a great path to business ownership.
One word of warning: Not all franchise systems are created equal. You have to do your due diligence to insure you are working with a franchisor that will truly help you realize your dreams. Please see some of my earlier posts for more on selecting the right franchise.