Should You Consider a Franchise?
For many women, their second act comes in the form of entrepreneurship – starting their own business, being their own boss. This can range from a one-woman etsy shop to as large as their imagination can take them. But starting your own business from scratch can be daunting. Let’s take a look at an increasingly popular option – franchise opportunities for women looking to own their own business.
Opening a franchise can be a smart, strategic path towards a flourishing second act. There are franchise opportunities for women in all interest areas, so building a company that you believe in has never been easier. If you are unsure of how to narrow down the field, take the time to think about what type of business will bring you both pride in your work as well as suit your desired lifestyle.
When people hear the word ‘franchise’, they often immediately think of giant chains like McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts, but there is so much more to consider. The most popular franchise categories for women include travel, hospitality, fitness, child services and education, but the list doesn’t end there.
Sampling of Franchise Interest Areas
- Retail – was there a favorite store that you have shopped at on vacation that could thrive in your area?
- Food & Beverage – think about a niche item that you could bring to a new area or a larger chain that is looking to expand
- Education – many pre-schools, after school programs, and tutoring programs offer franchise opportunities
- Self-care – franchises can range from spas to salons to retreats to innovative treatment facilities
- White collar services – utilize your current skills in real estate, accounting, legal, property management, tech, and other
There are many factors to consider when choosing to open a franchise, which we will get into in further posts. You can probably imagine that we are pretty partial to franchising, as Snapology was Shannon’s – and Episode 4’s Kayla Opperman’s – path to Second Act Success, so we have a lot of thoughts on franchise opportunities for women. But for now, let’s talk about some of the positives and negatives of choosing to open a franchise as your second act.
Pros of Opening a Franchise
Get a Head Start
While opening a franchise is by no means easy, one of the advantages they offer is the vast network of resources available to you. From the start, the franchise offers proven branding strategy, interior design templates, training, marketing, and numerous other shared programs and services (recipes, products, materials, etc) that you would otherwise need to develop from scratch. You will still need to hit the ground running in order to succeed, but the tools available to you will help you avoid many common new business mistakes.
You Are Not Alone
Franchisors want their franchisees to succeed. Your success helps them not only financially, but affects their overall brand and reputation. Throughout the lifetime of your business, you will have access to headquarters for updates, questions, training and other ongoing efforts to help franchisees succeed.
One of the biggest benefits of opening a franchise business is that you don’t have to start from scratch. There may already be buzz around the brand, which you can piggy back on during your launch. Choosing a franchise opportunity that has an existing positive reputation will help build awareness and can even generate a pre-existing customer base.
Cons of Opening a Franchise
Trickle Down Effect
While franchisees benefit from the parent brand’s reputation and established branding, the inverse can also be true. If the brand gets into hot water socially, that will affect all franchisees. Individual franchisees have no control over decisions made at the corporate level, so leadership changes at the top can impact all franchise owners.
Franchisees must follow all branding and business decisions handed down by corporate. This can vary from color schemes, store layout, pricing, promotions, continued investment, signage, marketing, hours, uniforms – the list goes on. Most corporate offices tightly control the amount of freedom individual locations can exercise in order to protect their brand. If you are a creative spirit, these limitations may feel too restrictive.
Opening a franchisee requires a significant amount of costs outlaid at the beginning. The franchise fee and startup costs of buying inventory, construction, insurance, staffing, and numerous other expenses add up. Once open, a percentage of your profits will be paid back to the corporate brand. Some franchises will even require a certain amount of liquidity or owner net worth. Each brand is different, but regardless the costs can be prohibitive for many.
Is a Franchise The Right Next Move For You?
Before pursuing franchise ownership, evaluating all of the pros and cons is essential. Understand your local market and assess competition and demand. Talk to your mentor. Make sure to do your due diligence. If conditions are favorable, opening your own franchise could be a great option for women looking to start their second act on their own terms.
We’ll have a lot more to say on franchises in the future, but would love to hear your thoughts. What questions do you have about starting your own franchisee? Let us know!