Franchising vs. Small Business Startup: What’s Right for You?

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Is business ownership on the horizon for you? While you might be fully prepared to leap into entrepreneurship, you might still be fuzzy about what that leap will look like. Will you start your business from the ground up? Or, will you start a franchise where you can grow an existing brand using existing systems?

The answer might not be cut and dry. There are pros and cons to each method for starting a business. Let’s look at some of each.

Growing a Small Business From the Ground Up

Growing a business from the ground up certainly has its rewards. But bringing a baby of an idea out into the wild and creating something totally from scratch is a path often filled with unforeseen roadblocks and hurdles.

Pros of Starting Your Own Business From Scratch

The upside to starting your business from scratch is that you have complete autonomy over what happens. If you want to adjust the business model, you can. If you want to bring in a new product line, you can. That flexibility is hugely desirable for many people with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Cons of Starting Your Own Business From Scratch

The downside to starting a business without any preexisting systems is that there tends to be a longer runway. You’re on your own to figure out what will work and what won’t. While there are courses and coaching available, no one has ever built this same business before, so you’ll still be left to navigate uncharted territory.

Starting A Franchise

Starting a franchise is also a desirable option for people with an entrepreneurial spirit who also love the idea of having support during the startup and growth process. If you’re interested in more of a turnkey solution, a franchise might be a better fit for you.

Pros of Starting a Franchise

Franchises have tested the market waters. The team and franchisees have seen what works well and what is not effective. Having this experience under the same brand and in the same industry can be hugely beneficial as you move through the growth process. Having other franchisees to lean on for support when roadblocks occur can help you scale those hurdles faster and more clearly.

In addition, starting a franchise means starting a business with a known brand. Having the support of a corporate office to create, design, and help market the business allows you to focus on what you love most — serving your customers and getting more people through the door.

Having a collective group to research and negotiate all of the moving parts of a business, such as the software and equipment, can also help save you a tremendous amount of time and headache trying to get everything up and running.

Cons of Starting a Franchise

Franchises have many benefits, but there are some disadvantages too. For example, suppose you love the ability to make your own decisions around the business model or branding. In that case, you might prefer to avoid adhering to a predetermined system or marketing strategy. Still, this is a small hurdle for many people since many franchises give you the tools to succeed without requiring you to clock in and out like you would in the corporate setting.

What’s Right for You?

There’s a saying in the franchise world, “you’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.” If having flexibility in your brand and business model is appealing, you might prefer starting a business from scratch. However, a franchise is right for you if you like having the tedious work out of the way of branding, marketing, and designing systems for your workflow.

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