Wow; this is a loaded question. The answer will greatly depend on your personal goals as a business owner and threshold for risk-taking. Either path has pros and cons associated with it so let’s get busy and break them down for you.
Starting a Business from Scratch:
Let me tell you, the experience of starting my own business from scratch (Burst) taught me many lessons that I would not have gained from buying a franchise system. Some of those are:
#1. Innovation: Developing Your Own Brand. This can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. I found it to be exhilarating as I could transfer the vision I had in my mind for our business into something tangible: a logo and brand. But then there are so many things to consider like the colors of the logo, the font, the tagline, what it means, does it represent the energy of your business, will people relate to it? So if you are on the creative side and are good at translating your vision into a brand, this will be great fun & rewarding for you. It’s your opportunity to expose your innovative ideas and make them a reality.
#2. Independence: You are the Boss. Again, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are confident in your business skills and ability to manage a team and drive them to execute your vision, this is a great route for you. The only limits you have are the ones you impose because, after all, you are the head honcho and able to call all the shots.
#3. Risk: You Create the Recipe for Success. Unlike a franchise system that offers a proven business concept, you are creating your own recipe for success. The benefit of this is your ability to grow the business into your own franchise system or independently owned multiple locations. The sky is the limit for you. You set the goal, you reap all the success.
Buying a Franchise.
For those less willing to take big risks or do not want the responsibility of being the visionary of a business and prefer to have a roadmap to follow, buying a franchise may be the right option for you. Some considerations for buying a franchise include:
#1. Success: Chances Are Much Higher for Success. According to Forbes, 90% of start-ups fail. And this is primarily related to bringing products and/or services to market that the market does not need or want. That’s where a franchise system provides security. A franchise is an already established business model and enjoys a higher rate of success than stand-alone businesses. You also are privy to the financial performance of other franchise locations prior to making your investment.
#2. Support System: Parent Company Support. The parent company (called the “franchisor”) provides extensive support for their franchisees. This type of support is priceless when it comes to training, lessons learned, turnkey business plans, and more. The franchisor should have a seamless support system in place that will only increase your chances for success. On the flip side, you also have to be willing to take direction from the franchisor and be flexible in accepting change as they are “the ultimate boss” and may exert substantial authority over your franchise.
#3. Marketing: National Marketing Dollars at Work. A solid franchise brand will have a marketing plan in place to gain national recognition and help build the brand. These marketing efforts are then available to you to help promote local awareness and gain a greater following.
The bottom line is: there are many considerations to be had when deciding between buying a franchise vs. starting your own business. Both can be very fruitful ventures; neither come without risks, just different thresholds of risk.
At the end of the day, you are key to your success in either scenario.
Be authentic, work hard, establish your goals, and be persistent in making your dream come true!
Author: Stacie Shannon, Founder & CEO, Fusion Franchising