Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Is franchising for you?

Wouldn't it be great if someone handed you a successful business that came with an owner's manual that told you exactly what you needed to do, when to do it, and how? Well that's pretty much what you get when you buy a franchise. You probably recognize the big names in franchising like McDonald's, or Holiday Inn, but there are lesser known names and franchises that can be started slowly and with much less cash.

A franchiser sells the rights to use their business, name, practices, and methods. When you buy a franchise you are basically buying a clone of a successful business and the method to reproduce that success. In exchange you usually make a cash payment up front which can range from a few thousand dollars to substantial amounts of money. You may also have to pay an on-going percentage of your revenues to the franchiser.

Every kind and type of business has been franchised. For example: there are pet franchises for those who love animals and want to use that love and knowledge in a business. If the perfect cup of coffee makes you giddy with delight you might want to consider coffee franchises. Or perhaps you like to get down to the nitty gritty and consider cleaning franchises . If you want to see a wide variety of examples, Entrepreneur Magazine has an annual issue devoted to the top 1000 franchises.

Different franchises vary as to how much freedom you have to run your business. Some franchises retain control of how you operate the business, how, what, and when you advertise, and the quality of the product. They can even mandate what suppliers you must purchase from. Check the contract to make sure you understand what you can and can not do.

A franchise can be a profitable business and has a proven track record, but they don't run themselves you'll still have to work, but at least you'll know that your work has a good probability of paying off.

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