Is Opening a Franchise Your Best Bet as a Business Owner?
If you're considering being a business owner, franchising is one of the options you should explore. Franchising is a business model that allows you to own a company that operates under a parent company's already-established name and branding. As the franchise owner, you will have to pay to use the company's logo, products, services, and operation manuals. In return, you will receive training, support, and marketing resources from the parent company. Before you dive in headfirst, however, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of opening a franchise.
Pros of Opening a Franchise:
Lower Risk Than Starting a Unique Business
Starting a business entirely from scratch is no easy feat. You need to build your name and reputation from the ground up. Meanwhile, with a franchise, you already have a name, reputation, and proven business model, which decreases the likelihood of you making a misstep.
Instant Brand Recognition
Franchise owners have instant access to their parent company's branding, logo, and marketing resources. Today's competitive marketplace makes a recognizable brand invaluable. This access gives franchise owners a considerable advantage.
Having an established brand means tapping into an established customer base. This helps the franchise benefit from the parent company's existing clientele. The customer base provides a valuable boost to the new business's initial operations.
Parent companies make sure that franchise owners undergo extensive training on how to manage their franchises, provide excellent customer service, and run other vital business activities. The training does not only focus on the owners but also ensures that all employees receive proper training. With sufficient training, everyone can operate at the best possible level, securing the success of the franchise.
Easier to Qualify for a Business Loan
Opening a franchise could increase the chances of securing a business loan, as lenders prefer investing in proven business models. Franchises have a higher success rate than independent startups, making loan approval more likely. With a higher chance of securing funding, franchise owners can focus on growing and expanding their business.
Cons of Opening a Franchise:
Purchasing a franchise means adhering to the parent company's rules and regulations, which could limit operational freedom. Following rigid policies might harm business prospects and restrict creative ideas. Therefore, owning a franchise could present challenges when balancing conformity and innovation.
High Startup Fees
Franchisees are required to pay an initial fee when joining, which is in addition to ongoing royalty fees. The amount of this fee can vary depending on industry and the level of support provided by the parent company. The initial franchise fee can be quite large.
Lack of Financial Privacy
Franchisors may require franchisees to give documents related to their financial statements, corporate structure, and other sensitive information. This lack of privacy and transparency could lead to issues in the future.
How to Form an LLC for Your Franchise as an LLC
At its core, an LLC (limited liability company) is a type of business organization that's easy to form and provides business owners with personal liability protection. Therefore, if you're interested in owning a franchise, it's a good idea to form an LLC to protect your personal assets from your business's creditors. LLCs also make it easier for you to claim tax benefits and help protect your business against future legal battles, including lawsuits. Check the rules in your state for setting up an LLC.
Keeping Your Business and Financial Records Organized
Digitizing your business records can save you valuable space and time, improve accessibility and security, and streamline record-keeping processes. Using PDFs for your business records can ensure seamless and easy sharing of documents among employees and clients, maintaining version control and document security. If you need a tool to switch over Microsoft Word and Excel files to PDF format, give this a try.
Opening a franchise comes with many pros and cons. While you’ll enjoy an established brand reputation, a proven business model, and trained staff, you’ll also be limited by the parameters set by your parent company, and your autonomy may be limited. If you’re planning on opening a franchise, forming an LLC can protect your personal assets. Ultimately, the decision to start a franchise should align with your goals as a business owner and your personal preferences.
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