Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Should I stay or should I go? 17: franchise businesses and becoming a franchisee as a next career step 1

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on May 18, 2016

This is my seventeenth installment to a series on intentionally entered into, fundamental job and career path change, and on best practices for deciding both when and how to carry through on it (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 416 and following for Parts 1-16.)

I have been discussing new-to-you business options as career move opportunities, over the course of the past five installments to this series. And I have focused for the most part in that, on building a new business startup from scratch and according to your own planning and your own business model (see Parts 12-16.) I turn here to consider a new business option that on the face of it sounds like a safe compromise between simply continuing to work for others as an employee, and taking off on your own to build your own new business and according to your own dream and vision: becoming a franchisee for an already established business, and becoming your own boss as holder and owner of record of your own franchise outlet.

The range of options that is available there is very wide and certainly for business-to-consumer oriented enterprises, including fast food restaurants and convenience stores, automotive service and repair facilities, motels, and a virtually open-ended more.

It is possible to build into virtually any of these types of businesses and it is possible to competitively reach out to and serve the needs of most all of their markets as a more one of a kind startup and stand-alone business. And that even includes business operations such as gas stations that are more traditionally thought of as being associated with specific petrochemical refinery companies and either as wholly-owned retail outlets or as outside managed franchise businesses. It is possible, in that specific industry and business sector, to follow up on this example, for an independent service station to buy gas and diesel fuels, and other specialized merchandise wholesale on the open market, offering whatever initially sourced products that they can obtain at the best price to their customers. But all of these wide-ranging business types can also be organized and developed through a parent company according to a franchise system model too.

• All of these business types also have franchise system alternatives, so the range of career options and opportunities that I begin discussing here can be significant, and not just as an occasional minor niche opportunity.

My goal for this posting is to at least start a discussion of two fundamental sets of issues that would go into evaluating this type of career move for whether or not it would make sense for you. Think of this as the pre-planning that you would carry out as your initial-step due diligence, in deciding whether it even makes sense for you to start digging into the details of specific franchise opportunities.

If a franchise approach would not be right for you, then you have no real reason to dig into the details as to which opportunities to pursue there. If it is, you should at least think through the how and why of that before making a specific franchise decision, to increase your chances of entering into the right one. And you have to, of course, research the specific franchise system supporting companies that you would consider working with, and with essentially the same types and levels of due diligence that you would pursue when looking for an in-house work position with a new employer.

Looking at this complex of issues from your own perspective and in terms of your own goals and needs:

• Who should consider franchise operations as a career move, as would be determined by personality and personal strengths, professional skills and experience, and according to career goals criteria? Would this type of career move work for you and be right for you?

I addressed these issues and questions in a new startup context in Parts 12-16 to this series, as far as personal fit considerations are concerned.

And when considering franchise opportunities as a next career step forward from the business model and franchise operation perspective: the perspective of what you would be doing professionally and where you would do it:

• What types of factors and considerations do you need to think and plan in terms of and both in making a franchise decision per se, and in better knowing what being a franchise holder entails?

My own hands-on experience here is somewhat limited because I have never worked as a franchise holder of record. But I have worked with people who have entered into these contractual agreements and with their franchise businesses, and I have a bit of experience with parent companies that offer franchise opportunities. With that disclosure noted, I will at least briefly address the first half of this second bullet point by raising and briefly discussing some of the crucial pro and con considerations that you would need to research and resolve and certainly in evaluating specific franchise opportunities, so you know as fully as possible what you are actually signing up for. I note up-front, in anticipation of that, that I will only offer a starting point there to the more focused due diligence you should pursue if you are seriously considering a franchise as your next career move, but that caveat applies to essentially all that I write here: I offer starting points and directions to look into in greater detail.

As for the second half to that second to-address bullet point: I have written somewhat extensively about founding and building a startup in this blog (see for example, my series: Online Store, Online Market Space as can be found at the first page to my Startups and Early Stage Businesses directory.) Much of this applies directly to any new business context but I will also offer at least some material in line with that flow of discussion, specifically oriented towards the franchise and new franchise operation context.

I will begin discussing this set of topics and issues in my next series installment, beginning there with my first of two, to-address bullet points of above. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide.

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