Franchise Basics

Franchise Basics: Is Buying A Franchise Just Buying a job?

When new acquaintances learn that my field of expertise is in franchising, they often say that they would never want to own a franchise because they don’t “feel the need to buy a job.” This is a pretty common misconception about franchising so I wanted to get to the root of it. 

When you buy a franchise, you may also be buying a job, but you may also just be buying a franchise. Here’s what I mean: When you own your own business, you have the option of playing the role of General Manager, landscaper, burger flipper, or any other position you choose. However, because you own the business, you get to decide, and you may decide to simply hire for these positions. You can still play an active role overseeing the business as a whole, or you can put your trust in a manager that allows you to have a more passive role. 

Depending on the type of franchise, you may feel the need to play an active day to day role in order for it to be successful. However, if that’s not what you’re looking for, there are plenty of franchises that allow you to be a business owner while maintaining your current forms of income. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, all businesses require time and attention, particularly while you’re getting started, but if you pick a franchise that aligns with your interests and goals, you should be able to have your cake and eat it too. That is, own a franchise without neglecting your other businesses or jobs. 

Owning a Franchise vs. Buying a Job

You can’t scale a job

If you master your job and you want to create more income for yourself, you can ask for a raise or you can take a job at a different company that pays better. What you won’t be able to do is work two full-time jobs for two companies. 

On the flipside, many franchise owners own multiple franchises. They do this by mastering the operations of one and then replicating that again and again. Even if you start off working 40+ hours per week to run your business, you can always hire someone to take on some of your responsibilities there or create efficiencies that free up time to open additional franchises.

You can't sell your job

Comparing income apples to income apples, a job where you make $100,000 and a business where you take an active operating role and make $100,000 look about the same on paper. However, when you decide to leave your job, they don’t typically pay you a multiple on your earnings over the last several years.

When you own a franchise, you can sell that business down the road and make a return on your investment. Jobs don’t require investments, which is certainly an advantage for the risk averse, but that means they also don’t yield returns on your time investment. 

To clarify, the security of a job is more important for some. This is not meant to say that owning a franchise is necessarily better than a job. The point is that they are two very different things.
Jobs have a specific schedule of when you need to be in the office

Most jobs require that you work particular hours and particular days. For a typical full time job, you’re expected to be on top of it from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, leaving very little flexibility for you between those hours. 

When you own a franchise, even if you have a job within your business, you still get to decide when you work, how you work, and how much time you put into it. Want to play golf on Tuesdays and Thursdays and start working around Noon? Your call. 

You (probably) won’t fire yourself

When times get tough, you could certainly lose your job. But if you own the business, you probably won’t fire yourself. It should not be ignored that your business can fail as a whole, but at least you’re in control of the decision making. You can choose to work harder, spend more or less on marketing, take over the manager position, or close up shop altogether. But it’s you that is the ultimate decision maker and nobody else. 

So next time people say to you that buying a franchise is just buying a job, ask them how much they plan on selling their job for when they’re ready to move on.

Joe Sexton is the Senior Director of Development at Oakscale, where he focuses on implementing marketing and sales strategies to drive growth for the portfolio of franchise brands.
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