is a franchise a perfect self-employment solution?

When I visit any strange town or city, I am struck by the number of businesses that I’m already familiar with. Familiar coffee or fast food brands, hairdressers even. Chances are that they are franchises. So I figure, ‘is a franchise a perfect self-employment solution?’

The fact is that opening any business in the high-street is expensive and high risk. To minimise that risk you would do well to access the experience of a company willing to partner with you and share their experience. A franchise might offer the perfect opportunity.

I am not suggesting all franchises are created equally. Each has its own personality and requirements to protect their growth and brand. You need to read the small print. You need to consider the money you have available to invest along with the risk you are prepared to take. But hey, that’s the same with any business venture.

So let’s be clear as to what we buy when we invest in a franchise. We buy time.

It takes a time to develop skills and to gain experience. It takes a time to build a reputation. What is the true cost in the extra time we spend trying to figure all this out ourselves? Building awareness slowly could move profitable revenues from this month to next quarter. From this month to next year. Lack of cash flow is one of the major challenges in any business and running out of money is a key risk.

A reputable franchise has the skill set and business model to minimise such a risk. They already know what it takes to build a successful business and they don’t have room for failure.

The main issue with a franchise business in the high street, however, is the money you have to risk and tie up. Brick and mortar business ventures are expensive to set up and maintain.

However, there are many work-from-home franchise models that have minimal setup costs and affordable license fees. Profits are generally excellent to good. You could work fewer hours, or work hard and make twice as much as a franchise.

In the digital age, many of these franchise opportunities are powered by technology and without the high investment of a brick and mortar business this opens up business opportunities without the traditional costs.

I am a keen advocate for the franchise business model for the right people and I appreciate that franchising isn’t for everyone. Neither is medicine, teaching, sales or graphic design.

However, if you are facing 2017 with a burning ambition to set out on your own, remember that you need not face the challenges on your own or with the high cost or risk of a brick and mortar franchise business.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA. Her background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal provides invaluable experience. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs, and professionals who travel extensively.

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