THE TRUE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A FRANCHISE OWNER

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Kyle Zagrodsky - OsteoStrong

No career is perfect, but among all the choices, there are always a handful that will be more ideal for every individual.

Lots of people are drawn to the idea of franchising, which offers the independence and freedom of owning your own business as well as the partnership and support that come with being part of a large, stable corporate family. However, franchising isn’t for everyone, which is why the best franchises take their time to thoroughly vet every potential franchisee.

The most successful franchisees tend to have certain personality traits and management styles; they also know how and when to delegate and take charge. All potential entrepreneurs have to have lots of drive, but it’s hard for many to decide whether franchising is the proper path to channel their energy and investment.

If you’ve been considering a move into the franchise world, these pros and cons may provide some extra clarity. Below are some traits of franchise life, but each can be considered either a pro or con depending on who you are and what you want out of your business.

TRAINING

Pro

Regardless of past experience, good franchises give every new franchisee plenty of training that details everything a business owner needs to know about operating a franchise unit. This includes opening procedures, daily operation techniques, software use, and sales and marketing strategies that have already been proved at other locations. New franchisees don’t have to stumble through the process; they are not only trained, they also have a strong backup network who will help from day one to years down the road.

Con

If you like going through new experiences on your own and learning as you go, you may find the structure of franchise training

and on-boarding limiting. If you constantly like to push the envelope and try new ideas, franchising may not be a good fit, since franchise training teaches proven methods for that particular brand.

FIRM INFRASTRUCTURE

Pro

Everything a franchisee gets to learn in training, from daily operations to sales strategies, is part of the franchise package. When you build a business on your own, those kinds of choices have to be made one by one, and each one can feel like a doozy. Mistakes are not only painful, but they’re often costly as well, raising the stakes of every choice you must make.

From what to look for in a new hire to which point of sale system is best, being part of a franchise cuts a lot of the decision headdaches out of owning a business for thefirst time.

Con

Some entrepreneurs like having total control over their venture. They relish in the autonomy of trying new things, relying on intuition, testing the waters, and pushing the envelope. If you want to make every decision from the ground up, a franchise’s firm infrastructure may feel too restrictive.

FRANCHISES HAVE BUILT BRAND REPUTATIONS

Pro

Joining a franchise means your business automatically becomes identified with the franchise as a whole. If people love this brand, they’ll be looking forward to your business opening as soon as the sign goes up, but if they’ve had a bad experience, it’s your job to entice them in the door and win them over. If your franchise has already been successful, and chances are it has or else you wouldn’t have given it a second look, maintaining a positive reputation falls on your shoulders, too. It’s all about being part of the team.

Con

If your business flails, it could affect your fellow franchisees, just as your unit might experience a dip if one of your fellow units should flop. Everyone wins when a brand is strong, but if even one unit starts to struggle, it’s everyone’s job to offer support and help turn things around.

BRANDING AND COLLATERAL IS DECIDED FOR YOU

Pro

Fonts, logos, and colors tell every brand’s story in a big way. New business owners often struggle with the best way to build a brand, especially when they’re also consumed with running a business.

Franchisees don’t have to spend time wondering how to best tell their brand story or working with marketing and public relations firms to handcraft their brand—this has all been done already at corporate level, leaving franchisees free to run and manage their unit. Franchisees don’t have to agonize over what color to paint the walls or which business cards to choose because it’s been taken care of, and what’s in place has been proven at other locations.

Con

If total control over art, decorations, and logo is a paramount part of what you will love about owning a business, franchising may not be your thing.

FRANCHISE PRODUCT OFFERINGS ARE STABLE

Pro

Joining a franchise takes a lot of the guesswork out of owning a business. The product or service a franchise sells is consistent across the board, which means you don’t have to spend sleepless nights concocting ideas for the next special or promotion.

Franchising is about building a large system of cohesive stores that offer customers the same reliable environment, product, and experience regardless of which location they visit.

Con

However, if you love inventing schemes to sell or upgrade products, a stable product offering may feel like a downside. Extremely creative people may find the rules and boundaries of franchising too limiting. Deviating from the menu, service, or product offering will unbalance a franchise brand, especially if a new idea fails and affects the whole brand’s reputation.

Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, the health and wellness system that boosts bone and muscle strength in less than 10 minutes a week using scientifically proven osteogenic loading concepts. OsteoStrong introduced a new era in modern fitness and aging prevention two years ago and has since helped thousands of clients between ages eight and 92 improve strength, balance, endurance, and bone density. In 2014, the brand signed commitments with nine regional developers to launch 500 new locations across America.

www.osteostrong.com