Benefits of a franchise business
Choosing a Franchise vs Independent business
Consideration
FranchiseIndependent Business

Trade name

As a franchisee, you have the right to use an established trade name, marks, logo and style. Your unit will be indistinguishable from others in the network. However, customers could – and should – be made aware of local ownershipYou will need to establish your own name. This can take a long time, and as they say: “in business, time is money”. The name will not be national, but customers will be aware of local ownership.

Known product or service

Your product/service will have public acceptance. It is a major benefit if the entire network has a sound reputation, but could be a drawback if other franchisees within the network perform badly.It takes a long time to establish a product/service that meets the needs of its target customer base and build up public acceptance.

Training

Training is essential, especially but not only if you are changing career. It provides you with the ability to use new technology, handle financial and staff management and gives you the confidence and skills required to operate a business successfully.Your business will be based round your skills or hobbies. Business results will depend entirely on your own capabilities and dedication – there will be nobody to guide you.

Proven business

A solid franchise will offer irrefutable evidence that the business has worked well elsewhere. However, this does not guarantee that it will work everywhere. Every franchisor should have carried out a viability study in your target market.Your business will be new and unproven – it will be your responsibility to establish the likelihood of success.

Package

You are investing in a complete business franchise format that has been proven elsewhere and possibly even has an established following in your target territory.As you will have little external support, your business is likely to start small and will require time to develop. In the meantime, overheads are building up, not to speak of lost opportunities costs.

Advertising

National advertising is the responsibility of the franchisor while local advertising will be undertaken by you. However, the franchisor is likely to offer guidance and even provide advertising materials.This is entirely up to you. You have to devise and produce your own material and are responsible for media selection. Moreover, you are unlikely to qualify for discounts often offered to large groups.

Sourcing

Franchisors will specify the range of products and/or services you will carry. On occasion, franchisors may be the sole source of certain supplies. Either way, you should be able to benefit from bulk discount arrangements negotiated by the franchisor on the network’s behalf.You are free to determine the range of products and/or services you wish to offer. Moreover, you can shop around to get the best deals. However, as you will be buying in small quantities, initially at least, you are unlikely to receive substantial discounts.

On-going help & support

You have access to an operations and procedures manual. In appropriate circumstances, a trouble shooting service may also be available. Moreover, a field service consultant (FSC) will visit you and offer on-site assistance. See video on support belowYou are on your own – the buck stops with you every time. You could hire an outside consultant – at a price – but he is unlikely to be familiar with your specific needs.

Location

The franchisor should assist with the selection of the optimal location for the business. In any event, the franchisor will reserve the right to approve the site.You are free to make good or bad choices in site selection, and have to live with the consequences. Expert advice may be available – at a price – but it is unlikely that the expert understands your needs fully.

Ownership

Although you own the business, operation is subject to the clauses contained in the franchise agreement. Among other things, your right to sell the business is likely to be limited. The franchisor may reserve the right to purchase the business from you, or approve the incoming franchisee. Keep in mind that franchises are usually granted for a fixed period, with a right to renew, then it is back to the negotiating table.You are free to sell or dispose of the business at any time to anyone. No one else has the right to terminate the business for as long as it is solvent.

Selling the business

Should you wish to sell the business, the franchisor may be prepared to purchase it from you, or may have a buyer lined up.You have to find your own buyer.