Franchising is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to delve into business ownership while having the level of support, guidance and guardrails that is typical of a larger organization. You can create your own career trajectory, earning potential and work-life balance with less risk.

Most potential business owners know their professional objectives and how to provide value to a customer or vendor. Where you may struggle, however, is with some of the behind-the-scenes support traditionally provided by an employer such as training, legal services, back-office functionality, funding and marketing. Some independent business owners have to procure these services on their own. They lose economies of scale and purchasing power that a larger company could access or that a franchisor might provide for them. Therefore, franchising offers a unique advantage to entrepreneurs who seek the benefits of independent business ownership with the added support of a cost-effective, proven business model. In this two-part series, we’ll explore in more detail the benefits of business ownership through franchising.

How to Select a Franchisor

The top priority when considering franchise ownership is to assess what you’re looking for in a business opportunity. Not everybody is seeking a huge profit. Some may be interested in better work-life balance or in expanding their portfolio. Others are looking to create a legacy for themselves that will carry on to the next generation. You must determine how well a franchise business aligns with your desires, work habits, skills and tenacity as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

In staffing, you have to be very people-oriented and have a natural sense of curiosity. You have to get to know your candidates, what drives them and what their objectives are. On the client side, you must understand how each company works, the roles for which they employ people and how you can help make their business more successful. It’s important that you’re not just putting on a face, but rather have a genuine enjoyment and interest in the industry you’re working in.

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It is also important to ensure that the type of support a franchisor offers aligns with what you need. If you already have industry expertise, you may need support in other areas, such as improving customer satisfaction, training and compliance, or accounting. Investigate the strengths of the franchisor to see if they balance out your weaknesses.

You should work with a company whose values align with yours. For example, at Spherion, we emphasize the values of serving local communities, being resourceful, building engaged relationships, guiding with insight and investing in others. As potential franchisees evaluate our business opportunity, we make it clear that we expect them to align with these core values. If a business expects you to adopt values that just don’t align with your personal beliefs and value systems, the business opportunity won’t be a good fit no matter how many assets you have available to invest or how appealing the opportunity is. You’ll be happier in the long run with a business model that allows you to live out your values in your workplace.

The most important criteria, though, is to invest in an industry with the potential for growth. General staffing, for instance, is continuing on a strong upward trajectory with some segments growing by more than 16%. And a recent report from Staffing Industry Analysts predicts that businesses worldwide will expand their capacity by 149 million digital jobs between 2020 and 2025, providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs to capitalize on that growth through business ownership.

Interested in exploring additional benefits to business ownership through franchising? Read part two of this series next week to learn more about finding the right location for growth, what franchisors are looking for in a franchisee and taking the next steps toward franchise ownership.

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