Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Franchising Vs. Traditional Business

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Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Franchising Vs. Traditional Business
March 23, 2009 | By Eddy Goldberg | Read Full Story

Going into business for yourself is a major life decision. One path is to start your own business or buy an existing one. Another is to choose the franchising model and buy into a proven system with a known brand name. Each path has its own promise, as well as perils. Once the choice is made, the question becomes what type of business to choose.

Passion and enthusiasm are key ingredients in steering a business from startup to success. Many customers of their favorite sub shop or pizza place think, "I'd love to own one of these!" That is, until they realize they're not cut out for retail, managing teenagers, or spending 60 or 70 hours a week in their new restaurant for a year or two… or three. Choosing a business - and a business model - should be a "business decision." After all, you're in it to make money, right?

Weighing the benefits and costs of franchising against those a traditional (non-franchised) business should begin with a self-assessment. Are you able to follow a prescribed system, or do you need the freedom to innovate and experiment? Do you need total independence in every aspect, or can you follow a ready-made system 100 percent?

In terms of "cost/benefit," there is a price to pay for buying into a franchise system. But there also is a price to pay in starting your own business. The pros and cons, detailed below, must be weighed against the benefits, in terms of both investment and personal values and goals.

Brand awareness
If you walk into any of the 30,000 Subways or McDonald's around the world, you're guaranteed your meal will be the same (or nearly) no matter where you are. That's the franchise proposition of uniformity and replicability. Customers know this and seek out...

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