Here are 3 undeniable reasons why franchising wins…
A common entrepreneurial dream is to build one’s own company from the ground up. However, it is not uncommon for aspiring business owners to discover that striking out independently isn’t necessarily the greatest venture. Rather, they turn to a potentially less risky path to profitability as a business owner by discovering the appeal of buying into a proven business model with growth potential and a powerful ally in their corners. To do this, a prospective owner has a few options: buy an established franchise location, a new franchise location, OR sacrifice the powerful ally in their corner and buy an established independent business. To enter an agreement with a reputable franchisor, one must understand the reason why franchising is advantageous and how it can suit both parties very well.
Here are 3 reasons why strong franchising opportunities (new OR existing locations) win out over independent models:
1. The WORLD knows (and loves) your brand: It’s true that there is always an element of uncertainty accompanying new business ownership, but serious entrepreneurs can buy themselves a franchise and help mitigate risk by being assured that the brand whose banner they will carry is already well-known to their target audience. Understanding franchising means knowing that various franchises absolutely have different levels of brand awareness going for them, but a careful review will reveal the stronger brands that have proven to be successful nationally or, possibly worldwide, as far as their products and services. This means, instead of estimating possible earnings, potential owners can visit operating locations and discover valuable insights about financial performance and cash flow that they can use to imagine their own possibilities in terms of benchmarks once they launch as franchisees themselves.
A brand that is recognized all over the world is a powerful ally with which to align yourself as an entrepreneur. A large proportion of new businesses and new products fail, often due to costs of the research and development needed. The Minuteman Press formula, for example, has been successfully tried and tested over more than four decades and is currently led by 2nd and 3rd generation members of the intrepid Titus family, keeping pace with the modern demands of the digital print, design and marketing franchise industry (with great attention to detail). The award-winning training program and the unparalleled expert support offered long-term to its franchisees are only two elements among a wide range of advantages afforded to entrepreneurs choosing an industry leader over other potentially less known, less established franchise opportunities. Julie Arndt, owner of two Minuteman Press franchises in Brandon and Plant City, FL, touches on one of the biggest reasons she has no franchise complaints as an owner herself and that is – collective savings where it counts. She adds, “As a franchisee we can take part in franchisor nationally negotiated vendor discounts. This helps offset the cost of royalties – this is just another area of support a franchise offers that you can’t get on your own.”
2. An Established Gem – The Existing Franchise: The option to buy an existing franchise with an established customer base and operating history should not be underestimated. In a franchise system, you have the expertise of company personnel to help you adapt to the business model, where independent business owners may not have their plans laid out (beyond their own heads) and therefore won’t have a documented “how-to” for new owners. Understand that franchising, done well, is a seasoned program and therefore, buying an existing franchise location can be extremely advantageous because franchisors are able to give new owners a well-thought out, already proven operating system. Additionally, you can build upon an existing book of business and goodwill within the community. Essentially, you can come in, take an existing client base and grow it further.
3. Support You Deserve: One of the greatest reasons entrepreneurs prefer the franchise option is the availability of a strong support team as they launch and continue to develop their businesses. The fact that the franchisor is sharing your desire for success translates to being in the business for yourself, but not entirely by yourself. Chosen wisely, your franchisor will provide top-quality training for you and your staff and officers of the company will always be available to help you with questions or concerns, even marketing support that might be cost-prohibitive if you were to be left on your own. It is very reassuring to know that there is someone with the experience and expertise there for you when you need guidance.
Understanding Franchising 101: There are varying degrees of quality. Beware.
Pete Scaglione, Regional Vice-President located in Texas for Minuteman Press International, indicates that the first step in understanding franchising is recognizing the difference in quality among them. He explains, “Not all franchises are alike. One of the most important first steps is to request from the franchisor a copy of the franchise disclosure document. Finding a business that you can see yourself running and knowing what the franchise has to offer you is vital for choosing the right franchise. Costs, franchise fees, equipment and average capital needed to begin business must be considered.
- Is there financing available?
- Can you seek outside supplies and services or do you have to purchase them from the franchisor?
- What are the monthly fees/royalties and terms of these fees?
- Training, support and advertising are necessary, but are there fees included with the royalties or are they separate?
You will want to know about location, competition, legal or practical difficulties, seasonality, and a number of other issues. Make sure your franchisor supports a viable exit strategy when you choose to retire. Importantly, get questions answered from key people involved in the industry or company of your choice to complete your research.”
Mike Arndt, co-owner of two Minuteman Press franchises in Brandon and Plant City, FL, appreciates his decision to take advantage of this digital print, design and marketing franchise opportunity because he developed an understanding of franchising that allowed him to decide that it was the undisputed path to his greatest chance at making a good living, both financially and in terms of quality of life. As he says, “Some people have a negative view of franchising because they don’t understand it. Royalties are necessary for the value of the support and franchise name, and both provide greater chances for success. Support that one gets from a franchisor is IMPORTANT. They know what works and what doesn’t. Don’t “reinvent the wheel”. It can pay off for you, long term.”
Any business opportunity will have risks attached, even the ones that are worthwhile. Still, once you understand the power of franchising, it will become clear that nothing beats established, wide-spread brand awareness, superior training and ongoing support as well as proven operating procedures provided to you by your franchisor. A seasoned franchisor becomes an ally that will always be in your corner, providing you with greater momentum to help you get off the ground, potentially generating a healthy business more quickly than if you were to go forward alone. And the most exciting part about becoming a franchise owner may very well be the chance to stack your own success upon the success of the brand, augmenting your growth and increasing the promise of new possibilities such as adding another franchise location to your name in the future. For many bold franchise hopefuls, the greater they understand franchising, the more they climb onboard with grit and determination, assured in the knowledge that they are in command of their financial destinies with the force of wisdom and experience behind them all the way.
“It’s important to understand that not all franchises are created equally,” offers Nick Titus, Marketing Representative for Minuteman Press International. He continues, “Many people hear the word “franchise” and they immediately think they are buying themselves a job. This is certainly not true with all franchises. The first step is to narrow down your search to industries in which you have a real interest. Is it food, business services, children’s businesses? Whatever it might be, you need a starting point. Think about what your passion is: What are you going to enjoy doing day in and day out? Is the product or service that you will be offering a necessity or is it a “hot” new idea that may fade away?”
Nick Titus knows that the key to understanding franchising and its advantages is though an in-depth evaluation of your own motivation and preferences combined with a keen review of the particular franchisor (and their operating franchise locations) that best attracts your interest. Nick advises, “It is important to do thorough research. Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions to the franchisor, or, more importantly, to their franchise owners. I have spoken to countless Minuteman Press franchise owners who have told me, ‘I never thought about getting into a design, print or marketing business; but once I took a real hard look at this business and spoke to franchise owners, I knew it was the right choice.’”
Learn more about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com.