Small business franchise opportunities are definitely not limited to food kiosks and carpet cleaning. There are literally hundreds of businesses franchised in the United States, ranging from automotive and children’s franchises to pet and travel service franchises. Whatever kind of business you might be looking for, the spectrum of choices is limited only by your imagination and level of determination.
But how do you determine if a small business franchise opportunity is really right for you?
Franchise versus business opportunity
Perhaps the best place to begin your research is to briefly explore the difference between franchises and business opportunities.
A business opportunity is purchased outright. You, and perhaps your partners, own it and operate it under the name you have chosen. Typically, the seller makes his profit by delivering the equipment, real property, training or service that you just purchased. In some cases, the seller might earn residual income from your success (as is the case in a network marketing business). In most business opportunities, though, your relationship with the seller ends when you purchase the business. Basically, you are on your own at that point.
A franchise, on the other hand, is an ongoing relationship between franchisor and franchisee. The franchisor collects a fee up-front and also receives ongoing royalties in exchange for brand name recognition, an established business model, training and support. The franchisee receives the benefit of this brand name recognition and proven-successful business system. In exchange, the franchisee is required to follow established guidelines and policies regarding the operation of the business in order to ensure consistency from store to store.
Home business franchises are booming
One of the really marvelous benefits of a small business franchise is the ability to run it from your own home. In fact, many franchise companies encourage you to do so.
A home business franchise, allows you to enjoy the enormous benefit of an established company while avoiding the expense and headache of a storefront environment. Plus, many franchise companies invest their time in training you to run your franchise business from home. Your success is certainly in their best interest, so they will make sure you are properly trained and equipped.
One of the great benefits of being a home business franchisee is the ability to drawn upon the experience of other franchise owners. You will find that this network can provide a wonderful source of advice, encouragement and camaraderie.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses are important when considering a small business franchise
While small business franchises have a considerably higher success rate than start-up businesses, you need to consider your natural strengths and weaknesses when deciding whether this is a good fit for you.
For example, being a team player is an essential factor in running a successful franchise of any kind. While you may be your own boss, you do not make the rules. You must be able to carefully and completely follow a system that someone else created. If you are willing to do so, you can successfully avoid many of the pitfalls responsible for the early demise of thousands of businesses.
Another necessary trait is the willingness to ask for help when it is needed. Again, this is the beauty of the franchise environment in that the small business franchise wants and needs you to succeed. In fact, the motto of the franchise industry is that you are in business for yourself, but never by yourself.
Do you consider yourself a “people” person? Do you enjoy providing a service or product that brings satisfaction to others? As a small business franchise owner, you will need to build loyalty and trust among your customers. The best and probably only way to accomplish this is by developing relationships with these important people. The good news is that if you answered “yes” to these two questions, you already possess two of the most valuable assets a franchisee needs for success.
Now, how do you feel about risk-taking? If the idea of having the safety net of minimum risk when starting your business appeals to you, then a solid, well-researched franchise is probably your best way to go.
After taking a serious and honest look at each of these personal characteristics, you should have a really good idea about whether investing in a small business franchise opportunity would really be your best choice. If so, do not be afraid to take the next step and begin carefully examining your wide variety of choices within the rapidly expanding world of franchising.
With so many highly successful niche markets to choose from, you are sure to find just the right fit.
Remember, a small business franchise requires much less capital than a traditional start-up business and certainly much less than a mega-franchise like McDonald’s, while providing a recognizable brand name and a business system that works.