If you want to run your own business, but maybe lack ideas or the confidence to develop your own brand, buying into a franchise might be something you would consider, and it can work…for some people.
However, there are a number of negative points to think about before you invest in becoming a franchisee.
If you’re an entrepreneur, the creative part of you wants and needs to design and grow your own business. However, if you’re running a franchise, you’re not really the boss of your business and there will be all sorts of restrictions and rules in place about what you can and can’t do within that business. If you can’t create and grow and implement all the new ideas you’re coming up with, you may well end up feeling like you’re in a little box – limited, confined, and unable to escape which is just frustrating.
Essentially, as a franchisee, you are a money making machine for the franchisor; you’re working for them. Not only do you need to make money for yourself, but you need to make money for them too, which is a huge amount of pressure to be under. When you’re running your own business, you set the targets and therefore your own pressure level…and any profit you generate is yours to keep.
I know, both from my own experience and from talking to the ladies that I work with, that when you have a family, things don’t always run smoothly. Sometimes you need to take a day, a week, a month or even a year to be with your children when they need you to be there. If you run a franchise, you can’t put the business on hold, or even slow it down, because the franchisor still wants their money. You literally have no choice but to keep working at the same pace. If, on the other hand, you’re running your own business, it’s entirely possible to pull back and just let your business tick over while you take the time you need to do whatever it is you need to do…for as long as you need to do it for.
If the franchisor decides to terminate your contract, maybe because you’ve broken some of their rules, or when you simply come to the end of your contract, you walk away from that business with…nothing. So, you may have worked in your franchise business for up to five years of your life, but all of the energy you spent growing their business, all of the money you invested in marketing…is theirs, because at the end of the day it’s their brand and their business. If you start up your own business, any time and money you invest into your brand is yours and no-one can take that away from you. You make money, you keep it. You set the rules, the pace, the product range and you’re investing in yourself.
I understand that people buy franchises because they don’t know how to start their own business or what to do, and because the whole thing just seems too scary and complicated. Buying a franchise might seem like a safer option, but because it’s not your idea or your brand, you don’t know if you’re going to enjoy it, so all you could end up doing is paying out an awful lot of money to simply be kept in a box and told what to do for three to five years. If you don’t like it, you’re trapped because you can’t just leave. However, if you’re running your own business and you find that actually you don’t like what you’re doing, you just tweak your business and turn it into something that you do enjoy. Creative people need that flexibility and freedom within their work.
One of the things about franchises that attracts people, is that they are given an area which is ‘locked out’ just for them. But this doesn’t mean that any other company in a similar business can’t come along and open up right next door to you…it just means that no one else from that same franchise will be operating within your area. You will still have competitors…competitors who don’t have fees and commission to pay out to a franchisor and so can charge less for the goods/services, undercut what you’re charging and attract more of the business.
Working under someone else’s name, with someone else’s brand, is not going to inspire within you the passion and connection that you will feel when you create your very own logo and brand…and start making your own money.
So, before you commit the next three to five years of your life to a franchise, I would urge you to consider the fact that there are people out there, like The Keepsake Co, who can help you to come up with a professional brand and a website, guide you through all of the scary stuff, and support and assist you with every aspect of growing your very own business. If you’re the sort of person who needs that creativity and freedom to develop, maybe this would be a better way for you.