People seem to harbor all kinds of misconceptions where franchise ownership is concerned. But whether you think it’s impossible for you to get in on a particularly well-known franchise without a boatload of cash or you assume that running a franchise is somehow easier than starting your own business, you should know that not everything you hear is true. Here are just a few common franchising myths debunked.
- You must have industry experience. This is a common misconception when it comes to opening a franchise. While it certainly can’t hurt to have some experience in the industry you plan to enter as a franchise owner, the more important thing is that you have a background in business. When you understand the basic tenets associated with operating a business entity, you’ll discover that what you’re selling is somewhat less important than how you go about selling it. Whether you’re running a restaurant, dealing in auto parts, or setting up in-home audio systems, you’ll find that most businesses are more or less the same – you’re expected to provide the products and services promised and treat customers well. You’ll learn the ins and outs of your particular industry over time, and having an experienced staff can certainly help in the meantime. But if you don’t know the first thing about managing a business, you’re bound to fall flat on your face.
- You have to love the industry. Does anybody really love the food industry? Most of us enjoy eating good food, some of us enjoy cooking, and a select few are truly happy only when they’re wining and dining others. But nobody really loves the food industry, per se. And managing a restaurant is a hard business, what with concerns about supply and demand, the whim of the public, health inspectors, and myriad other facets of operations. The same is more or less true of any other industry you might enter as a franchise owner, as well. The point is, even if you happen to love a particular industry, it’s not going to make your job easier. In fact, owning a franchise may end up making you hate the field you once had a passion for. The point is that you need to approach your business on a professional level, not an emotional one, if you want the best chance for success.
- You can’t afford a franchise. People seem to think that buying into a franchise is far outside the price range the average would-be business owner has budgeted. But this may not necessarily be true. You’ll certainly pay more for a brand like McDonald’s because of the recognition factor (not to mention the probable profit margin), but there are all kinds of affordable franchise opportunities out there if you’re willing to do a little digging. In addition, when you compare the costs of starting your own business and building up enough following to turn a profit, you’ll likely find that although the initial cost of a franchise may be more, the instant income it generates will balance out the price tag.
- You won’t have any control. If we’re being honest, any franchise agreement you sign will come with a lot of guidelines concerning your operations. On the one hand, this will make your job a little easier from the get-go. On the other hand, you might feel a bit stifled. However, every franchise owner has some liberties when it comes to how they manage their business. And in most cases you’ll be encouraged to approach the corporate entity with ideas and innovations that can improve the business for all.
- Opening a franchise is easier than a startup. Although the learning experience with a franchise is made easier by the fact that someone has laid the groundwork for you, there’s nothing easy about owning and operating a business, whether it’s a franchise or a company of your own design. So if you’re going into such a professional undertaking thinking that you’ll sit back and let the well-oiled machine run itself, you’ve got another thing coming.