I am a Franchise Broker and an advocate of franchising, so let me start with that disclaimer. Here are some of the common pros/cons you may hear regarding franchising vs. independent businesses. PROS: Training and support from experienced operators; refined systems that can help eliminate mistakes; benefit from the franchisor’s past and ongoing R&D; community of peers that operate the same business. CONS: Franchise fees and royalties; franchisor control over operations; length of the contract (often 10 years or more).
I actually think the biggest question to ask is part of a self-assessment. Both franchises and independent businesses require that the owner is driven and hard working. With a franchise, it is also key that you are comfortable following someone else’s blueprint. Will you accept the franchisor’s guidance on running the business? Will you execute the model even when you disagree with some aspects of the plan? If you’d prefer to create all of your own processes and retain total control over your business, an independent business might be the best option. If you think you might enjoy the support of the franchisor and fellow franchisees, I encourage you to consider the franchise option. I have a little article on my website that speak to this: click here.