There are so many misconceptions out there about franchises – and those misconceptions stop people who might be perfect franchisees from even investigating the possibilities. Let’s explore just six of the myths many people believe:

1.      You need a mountain of money to open a franchise. Not true! There are many franchises available with a total investment of $100K or less. Franchise companies want to be sure you’re adequately capitalized so they will spell out the one-time franchise fee as well as other costs, including working capital, for a minimum of the first three months. If you’d like to start a business and think you can’t afford it, it’s worthwhile to at least explore the options that would be a good fit for you in your investment range. Also, from a funding standpoint, often it’s easier to get franchises funded since they have a track record and offer owners training and marketing support.

2.      All franchises are food or retail, and I’m not interested in those industries. Today there are several thousand franchise opportunities available across more than 75 industries. Rather than look for a certain industry or franchise, think about your interests, skills, experience, and, most importantly, your goals for your business. That will help you pinpoint the franchises that are a good match for your unique situation.

3.      A franchise business won’t be much different from working for a company, since I’ll still have to answer to the corporate franchisor. Franchisees have an enormous amount of autonomy in their business. Yes, there are certain rules about branding, and a franchisor often sets parameters to ensure consistency of service or product, but you decide who you hire and how you run your business. Franchisors also love to hear new ideas from their franchisees about products and marketing.

4.      Managing a franchise will take so many hours, I won’t have any free time. It’s true that you may have several months of hard work and long hours to get your franchise started. But many franchisees work FEWER hours than in their corporate jobs, and have more free time and flexibility for family and the activities they love. There are also many franchise opportunities in business-to-business industries that only operate during traditional business hours.

5.      I don’t have any experience in that industry. Surprisingly, you often don’t need to have expertise in a particular industry. In fact, most franchisors prefer an owner who is NOT an industry expert, but instead hires people who can do the day-to-day work, giving the franchisee time to focus on growing and managing the business. You bring your entrepreneurial spirit, and in exchange the franchisor gives you the training, support, marketing materials, and proven business plan to get your business up and running.

6.      I can’t have a job and run a franchise. Traditionally that was the case, but now there are more and more semi-absentee franchise business options available. In this scenario, a franchisee keeps their current job and runs their new business through a manager. Executives concerned about the possibility of downsizing like this option because it can be both a diversification strategy and provide a “safety-net.” The goal might be to continue to run your franchise as a semi-absentee owner indefinitely, or to add franchise locations so you can then segue from you job to your business without taking a big financial hit. Most like to say adios to their “day job” and gain the free time they desire.

Whatever your goal, there is likely a franchise out there that will meet it. Don’t be fooled by myths and misconceptions – get in touch with me and I’ll get you the real information you need to make the decision that’s best for you.