If there is anything the modern business world has to offer to the aspiring entrepreneur, it’s flexibility and the freedom of choice. While the traditional entrepreneurial road would take you from the business idea to the launch of your own start-up, nowadays you can opt for a completely different business model if you don’t want to risk your entire livelihood or break your back trying to build a solvent company.
Enter, the franchise. While one might not be inherently better than the other (otherwise everyone would be someone’s franchisee), there are certain benefits to investing in a franchise for those who want to be business owners but want to take fewer risks on the road to long-term success. Let’s break down the start-up and franchise concepts and help you make the best cost-effective decision for the future.
Brand growth vs start-up branding
In an oversaturated marketplace, quality branding is the one thing that can set your business apart and help you establish a meaningful connection with your target demographic. The modern customer does care about the quality of your products or the level of service you provide, but not as much as they care about the values you portray and the identity you project. Why? Because nowadays every growth-oriented company strives for “excellence” and offers “unparalleled” quality.
If you want your company to succeed, you need to sell your brand instead of your products. That said, building a brand from scratch is a costly undertaking. Branding agencies will strip you of thousands of dollars in exchange for a comprehensive brand book detailing your visuals, values, stories, and other brand guidelines.
On the other hand, buying a franchise means that you start with your branding needs taken care of. Launching a start-up allows you to build a brand in your own vision, but buying a franchise allows you to grow an already successful brand and reap the benefits in the process – it will be up to you to choose which option sounds more appealing and financially viable.
Managing finances and procuring investment funds
Diligent finance management is the foundation of a thriving business. After all, money makes the business world go ‘round, so one of the crucial considerations you will need to put into perspective is how you’re going to pay for your business. Needless to say, launching a company is a costly endeavor, especially if it’s a specialized business that requires equipment and staff.
Auto mechanics, janitorial services, plumbers and electricians, all the way to business consulting services and retail shops, every new business venture requires substantial investments on your part to get the proverbial ball rolling. That said, buying a franchise might come with inherent perks the start-up scene is lacking.
For example, funding. Buying a franchise almost always costs less than building a company from the ground up, plus it comes with free training and support needed to avoid business failure. You will need to work under the brand parameters of the franchisor if you choose this route, though, so research your options before investing.
Risk mitigation and organizational support
Speaking of training and support, this is one of the benefits of franchising that make franchise investments a viable business decision. Let’s take a cleaning franchise as a clear example. Building a janitorial business requires careful market research, financial and logistical preparation, and timely implementation while the window of opportunity is still open.
However, becoming a part of an existing, and more importantly, successful brand offering janitorial services would help you eliminate the guesswork and minimize financial expenditure through ongoing organizational support. With training and constant support, you would not only learn how to run a successful business, but also how to attract and retain the best staff for the job and manage your time to avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial all-work-no-play lifestyle.
Sorry, start-ups, this is one aspect of business where the franchise takes the proverbial cake.
HR and employee management
Attracting top talent in the industry is a single part of building a thriving employee collective. The other is attracting the right kind of talent. Needless to say, the fate of your business will rest in the hands of your team members, so you need to make every hire count. This is where franchises and start-ups stand on even ground, as the success of the hiring process will mainly depend on your ability to judge people and ascertain their true values.
With the start-up, you will be doing this alone or with the help of your associates and business partners, so there is a good chance that together you will reach the right decision. If you invest in a franchise, on the other hand, you will be given direct guidelines and support in the hiring process in order to hire only the people that truly belong in your team. Both options are viable, you simply need to decide on the best cost-effective path for the future of your business.
We live in an entrepreneurial age, but that doesn’t mean that long-term business success will come easy. On the contrary, the road ahead is long and winding, so it’s important to know that the traditional start-up model is not the only way to become a successful business leader. Consider if a franchise is a more viable long-term solution, and reach a decision that will ensure solvency and prosperity in the business world.