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Buying a Franchise vs Starting your Own Business

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Buying a Franchise vs Starting your Own Business

Buying a Franchise vs Starting your Own Business

Is it better to buy into a franchise or to start your own business from scratch?

Congratulations on making the mind-set leap from being an employee to becoming a business owner. Starting a business can be hugely rewarding offering financial benefits, a sense of achievement and the opportunity to direct your own destiny.

One of the first things to decide is whether to start your own business or buy into a franchise. People who have an entrepreneurial leaning, but aren’t highly entrepreneurial, with good business skills could probably make a success of starting a business or buying a franchise. Each option has several pros and cons which you will need to consider.

Pros of starting your own business

The more independent entrepreneurial souls thrive on the challenge of growing a business from scratch. They ultimately want to set the direction rather than follow it. If you’re one of these people you can stop reading this now. If you have a very specific business idea to pursue you may find that there isn’t a franchise available that matches this.

There are a number of advantages of starting your own business rather than buying a franchise:


  • Full control of the strategic direction and daily operations of the business
  • No initial or ongoing franchise fees
  • No restrictions on territories
  • No reputational fallout from issues at other franchises in the network

While these advantages are very appealing, starting a business from zero is incredibly difficult. It’s often a lonely journey with many tough lessons along the way.

Pros of buying into a franchise

Many people suit working within a franchise framework and enjoying the flexibility of being a business owner while leaning on the franchisor for support. While no new business is without risk, buying into a franchise may be a less risky option. As a franchisee you will enjoy the following advantages over an individual business owner:


  • Banks are more comfortable lending capital to buy a franchise
  • Business set-up support is provided by the franchisor
  • Support and learning opportunities are available from head office
  • A strong brand and national marketing support
  • Interaction with other franchisees
  • Potential to build a highly saleable asset

The major disadvantage of buying a franchise is following the franchisor’s vision and over time you may no longer support this vision. Your success is linked to a bigger brand which is a huge advantage if the brand is successful, but can be a disadvantage if the brand’s star wanes.

Making the call

When you start a business you should give some thought on how you will exit the business. You may discover that selling a private, stand-alone business in South Africa is just not easy. By contrast, there is a healthy demand for established franchise re-sales.

Whichfranchise is the complete franchising resource for prospective franchisees. We’ll help you identify if franchising suits you and help you navigate all necessary steps to becoming a franchisee. You’ll quickly see that there are many exciting franchise opportunities available across different sectors.

Take the first step by assessing your franchisee suitability. Have a look at the personality traits which successful franchisees exhibit.

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