Franchising

Be your own boss with the support of an industry giant

Franchising is a huge industry consisting of hundreds of chains that sell off outlets to individuals who want to be their own boss, but who also benefit from the security that comes with the support offered by a giant chain.

According to the International Franchise Association, the United States has a franchising industry that generates more than $1.5 trillion in economic output and about 18 million jobs each year.

Although franchising opportunities are pervasive in virtually every business sector - from retail and computer/IT to fitness and travel - the most popular franchise categories generally are:

  • Food franchises
  • Service franchises - such as home healthcare workers, IT consultants, pet care, etc.
  • Small business and home business franchises
  • Fitness franchises
  • Computer/IT franchises

Perks of franchising

  • Franchising lets people with an entrepreneurial spirit, but who have little or no experience in business operations, start their own business.
  • Franchising agreements include training for the new franchisee in the selected industry.
  • Franchising shortens the time usually taken for a business startup.
  • Franchising offers support for new entrepreneurs who can go to both the franchisor as well as other franchisees for help.

Pitfalls of franchising

Dependency on the franchisor (the giant corporation that owns the chain of franchisees) can present challenges of its own. The following is a list of some of those challenges:

  • Requirement to pay hefty “marketing fees” to the franchisor for the benefit of using the chain’s well-known brand name for advertising your operation.
  • Iron-clad franchising agreement that makes it next to impossible to walk away from being a franchise and start your own potentially competitive business.
  • Inability to order product and services of one’s own choosing. For example, one must use the same paper cups that every other franchisee in your chain uses.
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