I’m the Boss!
The Ad said… ‘Be your own boss’, and the information that followed talked about an exceptional franchise opportunity example. The ‘Be your own boss’ expression is very often linked to franchising.
Quite simply because it represents a well-established and proven method of doing business. Franchises come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have some fundamental traits that set them apart from non-franchise startup businesses.
Franchising represents a proven method of doing business. Generally speaking, the franchisor has been there and done that and, as such, established a tried and tested procedure. Everything has been considered right down to the specific location for the franchise.
Franchising also represents a speedy entry into business compared to a more conventional ‘startup from scratch’ approach. Franchising brings with it an organized training program and backup and assistance programs so that, although you are the boss, you’re not necessarily on your own. Franchising gives you the opportunity to be ‘open for business’ in a comparatively short period of time without all the hassle of having to reinvent the wheel in the process.
Therefore, if it’s so good, why wouldn’t everyone want to be their own boss. Needless to say, owning your own business, franchise or otherwise comes at a cost.
The Cost of a Franchise
The cost of entry into a franchise varies greatly from an investment of less than $100,000, to investments that range into many millions of dollars. Therefore, it may be that such an expenditure for a business startup may not be in everybody’s budget and comfort zone. And that comfort zone extends not only to a financial involvement, but there will always be a risk involved in any business, albeit well-controlled and managed in a franchise environment.
When considering a franchise or even a regular startup business, you have to consider if your temperament is well-suited to business ownership, and being the boss. As the ‘boss’ you are often also the company IT person, the HR department, the maintenance manager, and so on. A franchise will certainly give you training in many of these aspects, but always remember that when it comes down to actually ‘doing the job’, that task will probably fall on you as the owner. You need to therefore ask yourself whether or not you have a mindset and ability range that can cope with wearing many, many different hats.
Many people transition from the corporate world into franchising as their second career. Many will tell stories of working 50 or 60 hours a week in a corporate environment, thus their desire to move into business ownership.
Owning your own business and being the boss does not make you immune to working those same long hours. The logic behind that is often that “I am the boss and I’m now working for myself”. While that may be completely true, long and unsocial hours are still long and unsocial hours, regardless of who the boss is.
At the beginning of every new year, many people resolve to change their circumstances and, in numerous cases, that translates into becoming their own boss. While franchising is an accepted method of entry into the business world and facilitates becoming your own boss in a timely and often cost-effective manner, it must be remembered that this is a very important step to undertake.
Your Internal Inventory
Always look at your own internal inventory to see if you are indeed well-equipped for the life of a franchisee as you work through your investigation process. It is imperative that you talk to franchisees that are operational on a day-to-day basis to ensure that you have a full understanding of what the franchise entails.
In researching any business, be it a franchise or a startup opportunity or resale, it is absolutely imperative to conduct extensive and thorough due diligence to ensure that what you are transitioning into exactly what you think it is, and that you are financially, physically and mentally equipped to handle the challenges that come with being your own boss.
We have mentioned many attributes that are inherent in a franchise, and another that should not be overlooked is the fact that as you consider a franchise, there is a wealth of information available to you from existing franchisees, past franchisees and the franchisor. The franchise discovery process should provide you with an abundance of information to ensure that you’re making the right decision to be your own boss.
David Banfield is the President of The Interface Financial Group, a position that he has held for over 20 years. He has been instrumental in starting Interface as a franchise opportunity and building it to its current international status. Prior to his involvement with Interface, he worked extensively in the banking, credit and factoring financial service areas.