Franchising is like being in business for yourself, but not by yourself. It might sound overly simplistic, but that’s really how it works: you buy the right to put a well-known brand on an independent business you own. A brand is more than a sign on the door. It’s a whole way of doing business: products, services, employee training, store design, a perfected way of dealing with customers. All these things make up a brand, and that’s what you get.
The “franchise” is the contract between the company, called the franchisor, and an individual, called the franchisee. The franchisee pays a startup fee and sometimes an ongoing fee. The cost can be a better investment than the cost of a private business venture. It comes with a built-in head start.
Franchisors help with many parts of the business that independent business operators would usually have to figure out alone like real estate, accounting, marketing, advertising or inventory. You don’t need to start off knowing everything about fast food, coffee, DVDs, donuts or haircuts either. There are experts for that. Many franchisees keep their day jobs. The franchisor has gone through all the growing pains of starting a successful business and come out way ahead. As a new franchisee, that’s your starting point.
For more information about franchising you can visit http://www.franchise.org, the International Franchise Association. Good luck!