The Franchise Entrepreneur

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

For the newcomer to entrepreneurship a franchise business can represent a safer option that a start from scratch venture. Franchises eliminate the need for the newcomer to generate brand recognition. Many also offer tried and tested sales and promotion strategies.

Not everyone who wants to live the entrepreneur lifestyle has a knock-out idea or the secret recipe for eternal youth in their bottom drawer.

Despite this, many look to be their own boss and the so called masters or mistresses of their own destiny. But without a great new business scheme, how do the go about living the lifestyle?

Franchise is the answer. No matter what industry the wannabe entrepreneur favors, there will be a franchise opportunity that fits. From fast food to ladies' gymnasiums, franchising has long offered business people the chance to run their own show.

The advantages, with a good franchise are numerous. Selling an existing brand is far easier than getting a new one recognized. And the client bank is already in existence. The franchise company knows its target market inside out so the newcomer doesn't need to spend time on market research. It's all done for them.

Another advantage is that many lenders view franchises favorably. So when the soon- to-be entrepreneur approaches them to borrow capital to buy a business they are prone to listen. This is because lenders like to see track record and are far more likely to agree to a business loan application for a McDonalds franchise than they are if the money is going to go towards setting up a branch of Mrs. Nobody's Burger Bar.

Tried and tested businesses are trusted by lenders and by consumers alike. Known brands that have a prominent presence in the marketplace know exactly how their businesses run best. So the new franchise holder doesn't need to go through a trial and error period trying to discover the most effective way to operate.

The advantages of running a franchise are:

- Companies often run workshops or seminars designed to help franchise holders succeed
- Wide recognition in the marketplace
- Lenders favor franchise businesses
- Consumers trust known products

Choosing the right franchise

The newcomer might consider a franchise with a low start up cost as a means to get their entrepreneurial feet firmly in the door. Franchises that require large and expensive premises, equipment and lots of staff might suit someone with experience.

The newcomer, by contrast, might be better off looking at other options such as: Mobile catering units that sell ice-cream - these make ideal start up ventures as they are often operated on a seasonal basis. So for the entrepreneur who wants to stagger their entry into the world of self employment a part-time venture can be a real eye opener, and one that is relatively low cost.

A franchise like an internet consultancy business, for example, requires little in terms of overheads and can be run from home. And with home run business of all kinds, franchise or not, there are very favorable tax concessions that will benefit the proprietor.

In terms of the safety net they offer the new business person, franchises are ideal. Said to take a lot of the mistakes out of being in business they are as near as you can get to fool proof.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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