By: Chris Buitron, Chief Marketing Office of Council member, Senior Helpers
From sandwich shops to travel agencies and even hair salons, more and more franchise businesses are opening every day, and they’re here to stay. According to the International Franchise Association, franchise small businesses will once again grow at rates that exceed non-franchise business growth this year. So what’s the allure? It’s nice to buy into an already-successful business model, but beyond that there are many benefits to starting a franchise business. With National Franchise Appreciation Day being celebrated tomorrow, I thought I’d shed some light on a few reasons why you should consider opening a franchise:
1. Follow Your Passion
One of the greatest advantages of purchasing a franchise is that you can pick an industry that you’re passionate about. Whether it’s your longtime kickboxing hobby that inspires you to open a kickboxing center or an affinity for helping aging seniors after watching a parent deal with the issues that come with the golden oldies, opening your own franchise allows you the power to choose what you want. Now is the time to be selfish and picky, after all, it’s your business! Picking an industry you feel passionate about will set you up for long-term success since the work will feel more stimulating and rewarding. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!
2. Be a Part of a Team While Building Your Own
Investing in a franchise allows you the opportunity to be a part of a team and have support that will help you along the way. Most franchise models will walk you through the franchise system, guiding you through site selection to construction, training and even ongoing marketing and sales support. There’s a sense of relief knowing that the franchise invests in you and cares about your success just as much as you do.
3. Challenge Yourself
I’m not going to lie; starting a franchise is hard work. You have to make the commitment to want to succeed and you can’t cut corners. For example, an unexpected challenge we’ve seen with some of the franchisees who open a Senior Helpers facility is hiring good quality staff. This proves to be more challenging than anticipated, since they’re working in an industry in the business of helping others. If possible, talk to other franchise owners in different industries beforehand to see what challenges they may have faced and any advice they can offer. There may be some unexpected road blocks along the way, but as long as you have the right attitude and put in the effort, you will succeed.
4. Flexible Hours and Schedule
Creating a work/life balance is talked about so often because it is hard work! It’s easy to get caught up spending countless hours at work while missing valuable moments with family and friends. The Wall Street Journal reported that the median age of franchise owners is 45 – 54, so the majority of them have already settled down and have children by the time they open a franchise. Did you know the word “franchise” is of Anglo-French derivation—from franc, meaning free? Depending on the industry, becoming a franchise owner can give you the opportunity to build your own hours and free up your schedule to fit in personal matters, such as school events or childcare needs.
5. More Likely to Succeed
According to About.com, some studies show that franchises have a success rate of approximately 90 percent as compared to only about 15 percent for businesses that are started from the ground up. By picking a good franchisor, you know that they have already faced the major hurdles and established a solid foundation. Working with a well-known brand that has proven success is like purchasing a bookshelf with set-up instructions. You know that if you follow the instructions, you’ll end up with a sturdy bookshelf. Now imagine building that bookshelf with no instructions. You can probably figure it out but it may not be as sturdy or it can easily collapse over time, just like a startup.
As you evaluate the decision to start a franchise business, always remember that you have control over your personal and professional life. Take into consideration your passions, corporate needs, and work/life balance in order to find a franchisor that works for you. Once you have done your research and picked a match for you, you’re halfway there on starting a great new endeavor!