Got dreams of owning a business, but not sure whether to start your own or buy a franchise? Both routes to company ownership have their pros and cons. Here are some of the main factors to consider so that you can make the right decision.
Both starting a business and buying a franchise are expensive processes. A startup does have the advantage that you can do it at your own time – you don’t have to buy premises and hire staff and pay for branding straight away. When purchasing a franchise, you may not have this freedom. In both cases, it’s possible to take out a loan to pay for these initial setup costs.
It’s difficult to buy a franchise without having some management experience behind you – the seller may not trust you if you do not have this experience. When it comes to launching a startup, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have – you’ve only got your clients to prove your credibility.
Starting a business takes a lot of groundwork. You need to sort out everything from establishing a brand to finding the best suppliers to getting legal contracts written. When buying a franchise, much of this work is done for you. The brand for one is already set up, so you won’t have to do as much marketing to get your name out there. That isn’t to say that there’s not a lot of groundwork to do when buying a franchise – you’ve still got a lot of work to do before you can launch your business, but it’s largely following a structure rather than having to plan every stage.
When you buy a franchise, you’re buying a system that already works. It’s still worth doing your research into a company’s reputation so that you pick the best franchise to buy, however, it’s not as high risk as launching a startup. When starting your own business, you don’t know if your idea is going to work. In fact, statistically speaking, most startups fail – this knowledge can put a lot of aspiring business owners off. That said, you may be willing to take this risk if you think you’ve got an idea that’s novel and interesting enough.
Owning a franchise doesn’t give you much freedom to organize the company as you’d like. Whilst you are the boss, you’re largely following a structure – you may have to wear a certain uniform, use certain equipment and go through certain suppliers. Some people may find this limiting and prefer to create their own brand, as well as setting their own rules. You’re always going to governed by certain business legislation, but launching a startup could allow you more flexibility over how to run your business. That said, you also don’t have anyone to blame but yourself if the system is failing.