I was laid off during the recession in the early ’90s. I job-hunted in an extremely tight job market and decided I didn’t want to start over. I looked into franchising because the benefits outweighed doing a start-up business. I purchased my FASTSIGNS store in 1996 and have enjoyed owning my own business. I’m able to make money, enjoy the ownership aspect, and have the support of a strong system, stated Shane Beard, owner of a FASTSIGNS franchise in Naperville, IL.
Down Times are Survivable
With the economy and job market in a down swing, many executives are receiving pink slips. Not comfortable with retirement, these ex-employees are finding new careers as entrepreneurs. And one of the most stable business endeavors is franchising. With a high rate of success, franchises are surviving financial hardship because, in hard times, people want familiar brands, services, and products, and franchises offer just that. The franchise community-generated approximately $1 trillion in retail sales in 2001 and brought franchisees independence from their corporate careers. Franchises are not just about serving fast food. There are opportunities for everyone, from the seasoned public relations pro to the experienced retail associate. In fact, the franchise community is made up of businesses in over 75 industries. From home computer tutoring to bottled water retailers, there’s a franchise to fit every taste and interest. Fees and liquid capital necessary to open a franchise vary as well. Almost every franchise offers at least one thing in common: They allow people to control their careers and their lives.
Who’s Best Suited?
Those best suited to own their own franchise, include sales and marketing executives and those with management experience. The individual must have the motivation to drive their own business, but they must also respect and follow the business plans set forth by their franchisor. If you desire to own a business where you make all the decisions and create your own original ideas, from the decor to secret recipes for success, franchising is probably not for you. If you want to take advantage of a proven business plan and a successful product, then owning a franchise might be a smart choice.
When executives get laid-off, they typically get severance pay. Instead of investing in the stock market, where many people no longer feel they have any control, people are investing directly in their own future: Investing in a franchise. No longer job-less, franchisees are able to control their own future and career, by investing as much time and interest in their own business as they can and want. The franchise community is staying on top, as the economy slows down, and as the stock market plummets franchisees are watching their investments grow.
The Franchise Community
There are approximately 320,000 individual franchise units, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). Franchising is a cross between starting your own company and working for a corporation. Every franchisee pays an initial franchise fee, which averages $30,000. From there, investments can vary, but the average initial investment, minus real estate, is less than $250,000. The franchise community continues to grow at alarming rates, approximately 15% this year. Today there are more than 5,000 different franchise concepts to choose from. It is truly a wonderful time to join the franchise community!
by Pamela Gold