So you’re thinking about going into business for yourself. And, you want something that is pretty turn-key so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
You’ve heard that franchises have a lot of advantages like low risk of failure, name recognition, collective buying power, training and of course, the are certainly turn key businesses. All these things are very positive reasons to buy a franchise.
There are other things to consider though. The startup cost for a franchise can be a lot of money. Start a McDonald’s and you can be in it for millions. The average franchise cost is around $70 grand and you can pay as little as $10,000 just to put someone else’s logo on your shirt while your cleaning houses. Also, buying a franchise doesn’t leave a lot of room for deviating away from the standard. Subway, for example, has to have exact weights for their meats and cheeses.
When it comes to franchises, it’s really their way or hit the highway. If you are an individual and like to express what makes you unique…you probably should forget about the franchise route.
What about home based business or Network Marketing? Many times you have a very low financial risk, you get name recognition, collective buying power and training. You also get the added advantage of not only acting like a franchisee but also like a franchiser. You can build a network of distributors that, like in franchising, you make a piece of their action too.
The disadvantages? Most of these are avoidable but here goes: Often you’re asked to bug all your friends, neighbors and relatives. Also cold call strangers, learn to be a salesperson and attend a bunch of meetings. Also, because everyone has the opportunity to sponsor others, often your upline trainer is too inexperienced to be able to help you succeed very much.
If you do consider the home based business route, and I do highly recommend it, here are a few things you should look for and it should be a great experience for you:
1. Experience, experience, experience. Find a person to sponsor and train you that really has a successful track record. Once you find someone that you believe fits the bill, make sure they will devote the time needed to teach you the ropes. Mentoring is everything. A mentor can shorten the time frame it will take you to succeed dramatically and stop you from falling in all the crevasses along the way.
2. Make sure they have a duplicatable marketing and training system in place. This is not only important to you, but also to those team members who will one day follow you. No system, not ability to build a big business.
3. Stable company that hasn’t become a stodgy beluga. Brand new companies fail left and right and huge old companies are very very difficult to build an organization with. If you have chosen your mentor wisely, this will probably already be taken care of for you.
4. Products. Many make the huge mistake of choosing only products that they love. Rule #1 in marketing; it isn’t about what you like, it’s about what others will eagerly buy. Look for a growth industry and a product that has a competitive advantage.
5. Admittedly, this is my preference, find someone who can show you how to build without contacting all your friends, neighbors and relatives. Find someone who doesn’t need you to attend or bring people to a bunch of meetings to succeed. Find someone who doesn’t want you to make a bunch of cold calls to strangers. Find someone with a plan.
Spend a lot of money on a franchise or spend a little time building a home based business. This is up to you of course, but for me, I’m a home based business guy.