By Ryan Velez
According to Black Enterprise, sixty-five percent of Americans want to be their own boss. Some of this is out of a desire for autonomy, others do it because they feel they can run things better than their bosses. A question that arises out of this is whether to put together your own startup or begin a franchise. Here’s some traits of an entrepreneur:
• “One who pursues opportunity beyond the resources currently controlled”
• “A person who sees an opportunity and creates an organization to pursue it”
• “A dreamer who attempts to turn an idea into a profitable reality”
• “Anyone who assumes the risk and responsibility for starting and managing a business”
• “Anyone who takes the risk of starting a business for the purpose of making a profit”
Does this match your ambitions? Then you may be a fit, but franchising comes with ups and downs. Here’s how Black Enterprise breaks down the pros and cons:
Freedom and independence
Control over major aspects of your life
An outlet for creativity
Satisfaction and sense of achievement
Status and recognition
Job security—can’t be fired or laid off
Unlimited income potential
Growth of initial investment
Responsibility and pressure
Fear of failure
Obstacles and frustration
Less time to spend with family/friends
Less financial security
If you have a unique idea, a startup may be a better match for your goals. Another thing to keep in mind is that as a franchisee, you still have someone else’s product and plans to work with. Here are some questions to ask yourself before giving a franchise serious thought:
• Can you follow someone else’s rules, even when you think you may have a better way?
• Are you prepared to accept coaching and advice on how to run your business from a franchisor’s field and headquarters; staff?
• If the franchisor turns down your great idea for changing the system, can you live with that?
• Can you trust that a franchisor is working for the benefit of the entire system—even when their decisions do not necessarily go your way?
• Are you willing to share financial information and prepare required reports regularly?
• Are you willing, able, and eager to learn new skills?
• Can you set aside old habits and beliefs to follow a franchise system?
If all these things fit, you may want to ponder being a “frantrepreneur” in the upcoming year.