The word franchise usually conjures up images of brick and mortar stores with large, recognizable signs and logos positioned in strip malls or on Main Streets. However, today’s franchise businesses are using a home-based distribution model to cut back on operating costs, making home-based franchises more popular than ever. In fact, home-based franchises now account for over half of the small businesses in the US, according to the Small Business Administration.
It’s not hard to see why home-based franchises are the most popular businesses in the franchise sector: operating a franchise from the comfort of your home provides the flexibility and affordability of operating a home-based business with the ease of entry that franchise business ownership can often bring.
If you are thinking about running your own business from home, consider a home-based franchise. Here are some points to consider to help you determine if you are ready to start a home-based franchise.
Can you work from home?
While there are many benefits to working from home, the truth is that not everyone is able to run a business from home. Working from home is still work and should be viewed as such. Make sure that you have the time, space, and motivation to successfully operate a business from your home.
Keep in mind that although your office is in your house, you may still be required to spend a lot of time on the road, meeting clients, or conducting business in your territory, marketing and selling. Consider your family and other commitments that may prohibit your time out of the office.
Also, ask yourself the following questions to determine if a home-based franchise is right for you:
- Can you work in a solitary environment?
- Do you have space in your home for an office?
- Are you self-motivated and organized?
- Can you afford the start-up costs associated with the franchise of your choice?
- Is your house zoned to conduct business?
Can you be a franchisee?
Being a franchisee requires that you are able to operate a business that is essentially someone else’s. This means operating within rules that are set up by someone else and giving up a percentage of your gross sales revenues to your franchisor.
Most business owners, however, find that the benefits of a franchise make it a viable opportunity. Some of the benefits of operating a franchise include the following:
- You are investing in something that has already proven to be a success.
- Relatively low start-up cost, especially when compared to starting your own business from scratch.
- An established brand and identity lowers the amount of time and energy spent on advertising and marketing.
- Support from a corporation that has an already established business model, strategic plan, formula for increasing profit, and customer service tools.
It is easy to see that franchising is designed to work for both the franchisor and franchisee. The key is finding an opportunity that fits your personality, lifestyle, and financial goals. Take the time to consult with experts in your chosen field as well as a tax attorney and accountant to help you set up a plan for starting and operating your home-based franchise.