I came across an interesting article on Entrepreneur.com the other day that presented three key questions to consider when thinking about joining a franchised company or opening an independent business. Now, of course, there are more than just a few questions to think about, but I think the article did a good job of presenting three, basic and vital questions:
Do you understand every aspect of the business or do you thrive in one area?
The author of the article on Entrepreneur.com , Paul Segreto , points out that entrepreneurs looking to start a business from scratch really need to be well-versed in all areas of a business to ensure success. It’s important to have experience in marketing, recruiting, accounting, business operations, human resources, etc.
On the flip side, franchisees don’t necessarily need to be an expert in all these areas because they can receive help from their corporate support system. At Great Clips, franchisees have access to marketing experts, business analysts and education staff to help them learn how to run their salon and train their staff. They also have a support system of franchisees who’ve “been there, done that” and can offer help and advice.
Are you an expert at making a name for yourself or would you like to be associated with an already strong brand?
Segreto points out that buying a franchise means that you inherit the reputation of the brand as well as customers—this shows the importance of doing research on public perceptions of any brand you are considering joining. A strong, recognized brand can have an immediate positive impact on your business, but a negative perception can do some serious damage.
An entrepreneur starting from scratch has the unique opportunity of building and forming their own brand. This is a positive because you get to make the brand what it is, and the experiences you offer your customers will shape your brand perception. However, negatively, you’ll be starting as a small fish in a big pond, and it may be tough at the start to attract customers and establish a loyal customer base.
Are you the kind of person who likes to go it alone or do you appreciate a sense of community?
This is another great question from Segreto. In a franchise, you are a big community that needs to be united and work together to create a positive and enduring brand across all locations—this is not always an easy task. You also need to be able to follow a system. So, if you’re a free spirit or want to recreate the wheel, franchising may not be the right fit for you.
As always, we’re here to help you answer and talk through any questions you may have about franchising. Leave your questions in the comments below or fill out a request for information form and we’d be happy to discuss.