The past 18 months have not been easy for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean the reward is not worth the risk. I’ve had the pleasure of helping people begin their journey as a small business owner and watching them thrive, in fact, even be unstoppable - even in this climate. For those interested in starting a small business, the benefits of franchising can make that dream a reality with a little less risk. Here are four ways franchising can offer a safety net to small business owners.
1. Onboarding and Training
For new entrepreneurs, starting a business can feel insurmountable. Aspiring business owners must conduct market research, write a business plan, find ways to connect with their potential customers, and more. For most, it’s a completely foreign experience and it can be difficult to find your footing.
However, franchising models are the safety net of the small business owner high-wire act. Rigorous onboarding and training help franchise owners learn the ropes and set them up for success even if it's their first business venture.
Simply put, the learning curve of starting a small business can create a barrier to entry for those who have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. One of my favorite things about my job as a franchising leader is being able to empower and provide people with the knowledge and skills to own and operate their own businesses.
2. Network of Expertise
It's important that first-time entrepreneurs have trustworthy and knowledgeable people in their circle. While every situation is different, small businesses are typically comprised of only a few team members who may or may not have experience in starting a business.
Conversely, as a franchisee, you are brought into a network of others who already have deep experience. They quickly become friendly faces that you can go to for answers and advice rather than having to figure everything out on your own.
The UPS Store’s 2021 Inside Small Business Survey reveals how entrepreneurs had to pivot their finances, operations and workforce model. When the pandemic first began, our franchise network connected with each other to strategize and share how they were pivoting and navigating amid the pandemic. These relationships inspired franchisees across our network to do things such as design and print signs supporting healthcare workers, print takeout menus for local restaurants and offer “We’re Open” signs to other local small businesses.
3. Immediate Brand Awareness and Trust
A key tenant of business success is awareness and trust. It’s common sense: If you need something done quickly and professionally, you’re more likely to choose a business that has a track record of getting the job done. Owning a franchise and being able to capitalize on the franchisor's brand name and reputation makes the challenge of making a name for yourself a great deal easier.
I know from speaking with some of our longest-running franchises that brand awareness is critical. We have franchise owners who have owned and operated their stores for decades that say The UPS Store name goes a long way toward attracting customers. It’s just much easier to reach consumers that are already familiar with your brand.
4. Higher Success Rate
The reality is that a franchisor’s well-established business model and wealth of knowledge eliminate some of the risks and reasons that cause startups to fail.
Franchisors have developed a script for success. This doesn’t mean that starting and operating a franchise is easy. It just creates a safety net for those without the experience and resources to start from scratch. With franchising, the journey is more about hard work, persistence and dedication than anything else.
While startups may come with too high of a risk for some, franchising offers a safer avenue for achieving a lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur. It is rewarding being able to assist people in following their dreams through the support of a franchise model.