Being laid off can be devastating. And many people are without work now because of the pandemic. Whatever the reason, it's a blow to you and your family. Some have been working from home for the past seven months. I have found it interesting that some people call me now and share, they have been home since March, and they've gotten a taste of freedom. They may like their job but don't want to go back to a position that has them sitting at a desk, doing stuff they don't want to do, and driving through a commute that is taking years off their life to do it. They say, Tom, please help me. I don't wanna go back!
If you're now without a paycheck and scrambling to come up with a plan for what's next. Before you start circling classified ads and putting in applications, take some time to think outside the box for your next step. This could be an opportunity to do something different with your career and start a business for yourself. Could franchise ownership be the key to controlling your own destiny?
According to Business Dictionary, a franchise is an "arrangement where one party (the franchiser) grants another party (the franchisee) the right to use its trademark or trade-name as well as certain business systems and processes to produce and market a good or service according to certain specifications. The franchisee usually pays a one-time franchise fee plus a percentage of sales revenue as royalty, and gains immediate name recognition, tried and tested products, standard building design and décor, detailed techniques in running and promoting the business, training of employees, and ongoing help in promoting and upgrading of the products."
When you open a franchise, you're still a business owner. However, a franchise startup's cost is more contained, and much of the marketing is done for you. When you start your own brand as an entrepreneur, getting up and running and building your customer base can be difficult with unknown startup costs and little to no name recognition. Starting a franchise instead can help you bypass many of the challenges new brands face in the beginning.
The arrangement where one party (the franchisor) grants another party (the franchisee) the right to use its trademark or trade-name and certain business systems and processes to produce and market a good or service according to written specifications. The franchisee usually pays a one-time franchise fee plus a percentage of sales revenue as royalty and gains:
- An optimized website.
- Tried and tested products and services.
- Standard building design and décor.
- Detailed techniques in running and promoting the business.
- Initial and ongoing training.
- Ongoing help in promoting and upgrading of the products and services.
There are as many different franchise opportunities as there are interests. While the first thing that may come to mind when you think of a franchise is fast food, there are concepts in a wide variety of niches from retail to home-based to Business-to-Business.
The Benefits of Opening a Franchise as a Career Transition
If you've been laid off, this may be the best possible time for a stable career transition. While you can go in just about any direction you desire, opening a franchise has several benefits, including but not limited to:
- Having the autonomy of owning a small business and working for yourself instead of someone else while also getting the support of an extensive business network
- Training is provided, and although it helps, you don't absolutely have to have business or management experience to open a franchise or expertise in the particular industry – actually, in many cases, if you have industry experience, you will not be awarded a franchise (people tend to come with bad habits)
- It can be easier to obtain financing or loans to open a franchise than it is to get the funding for a personal startup because a franchise has a track record
- Ongoing support for managing operations is generally always available, and you don't have to start from scratch when developing workflows, processes, and policies
What Franchise Should You Open?
The key to controlling your own destiny with a franchise is not to open only the most popular franchise or a type of franchise that your area really needs. It's about finding a franchise that does work and taps on your skillset. Do you love fitness and staying healthy? A gym franchise could be a great fit. However, working out in a gym is a very different experience than owning one. Does the area you live in lack a great burger place, but you hate working in the food industry? Even the most popular franchise isn't going to be successful if you don't like the work. Before opening a franchise, you should define your goals, what you genuinely want to achieve, and what you want to give back to your community.
Take what drives you and look for a franchise that fits -- don't settle until you find one that resonates in your gut, not in your head. Even if you're laid off and need to get your new business started as soon as possible, you must do as much research as possible to find the best fit for you. Some concepts take six months to open. Others take only six weeks to launch. Be realistic about your situation. Financially, you may not be able to wait six months to see your first customer.
Whatever franchise you choose should afford you the time and money to do what you love outside of work. Getting back control should be your first goal. After that, success will likely be at your doorstep. Success for everyone is different. For some, it could be building a business from the trenches of the operation every day, or for others, it may mean training responsible managers so you can earn passive income and spend more time with your family. Right now, the choice is yours!