Guiding light vs going it alone!

(09 /04 /2014)

The emotional rollercoaster of starting your own business can seem a little less daunting if someone has already ‘been there and done that’. For a newbie to the industry a franchise may well tick all the boxes.  Training, proven formula, support, direction….just follow the rules and procedures and you have a winning combination.  Is it truly that easy?

A franchise may seem like a safe way to enter a saturated and super competitive market but it also comes with risks.  There appears to be an inherent loss in the ability to be independent, to make your own decisions regarding what is right for you and your business and to make even the smallest of alterations to set promotions, food prices, recipes, menu items and even down to the suppliers you can and can’t use.

When deciding whether to invest in a franchise, make sure you enter the decision with your eyes open and ask as many questions as possible.  As with buying an already existing establishment or starting up a whole new venture your questions will be the same.  Who are your target audience, is there any competition, what are ALL the costs and ongoing costs for being a part of a franchise, are you locked in to suppliers or can you source locally, what does the business model look like?  What about return on investment?

What about location? There are plenty of examples where the business model has been successful in one area and failed in another.  Understanding your audience is one thing but the demographic make up of that audience will determine whether your chosen model will be a success.

No matter if you choose the guiding light of a franchise or heading off into the unknown alone, find the right fit for you.  Are you one to follow the rules and stick to a proven formula, be handed the ‘holy grail’ on how everything has to be done or do you want to go it alone, wing it a little and see what happens.  There are pros and cons for both – just remember to do your homework!!

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