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Franchises are different from other types of startups for obvious reasons: They offer opportunities to deal in proven products or services, come with well-known or growing brands, have a set business structure and supplier network, and more.
But behind those differences, aspiring business owners are drawn to franchising for the same reasons that most people turn to entrepreneurship, whatever form it takes.
Many prospective franchisees are driven by frustration in jobs where they didn’t have enough control to influence results in the way they wanted.
Maybe they had a micro-managing boss, a parent corporation that wouldn’t listen, or something similar. Whatever the details, they’re drawn to the idea of being their own boss, having the last say in business decisions and knowing – for better or worse – that they’re responsible.
In the past 15 years, more and more corporations have cut costs by replacing veteran managers with less-skilled workers. This has created a pool of experienced managers, 45 to 60 years old, who’ve found it hard to get a new, comparable job.
They often can’t afford to retire and need to replace their lost income, at least until they’re ready. More and more, these displaced managers are attracted to franchising as a viable way to do that without having to worry about being downsized again.
We see a steady stream of potential franchise investors who talk about wanting to reduce business travel, job-related stress and working hours.
Often, they also want to find businesses with predictable down times so they can have more time with their families or leisure activities. They find enough options in franchising to make a choice that matches their individual lifestyle needs.
Many of our prospective franchisees have figured out that while their employment may provide significant income, in most cases they don’t share directly in the wealth they help create. They put in 40 or more years and then retire on whatever they’ve managed to save plus Social Security.
In franchising, they understand that their hard work has the potential not only to create personal wealth as they grow, but also provide a personal payoff when it comes time to sell.
What Drives You?
If you’re considering a franchise, one or more of these things is driving your desire. But don’t jump at the first shiny possibility.
Spend more time exploring your personal motivations. Knowing them well can help you avoid specific franchise opportunities that just won’t meet your needs, save time better spent on finding those that do, and increase your chances of success from the very beginning.