Until about three years ago, I automatically associated the word ‘franchising’ with greasy burgers and soggy French fries. I knew that fast food chains were franchised, and that was about it. I had no idea that home-based franchise business opportunities even existed or that thousands of franchise owners—including stay-at-home moms—were doing well with those types of work-at-home careers.
Franchising is a business model in which the corporate owner (the franchisor) sells the rights to individuals to open a business using the same branding, products, work processes, etc. The franchise owner (or franchisee) pays a royalty to the corporation, which helps the franchisor grow and expand quickly.
In 2016, I began working with a firm that helps franchisors grow their companies through content marketing. Once I was introduced to this world, I discovered that franchising extended well past the walls of restaurant chains.
With dozens of content marketing campaigns for franchise corporations now under my belt, I can give an enthusiastic endorsement for the franchise model overall. For many, opening a home-based franchise is a fantastic way to make a living but also have freedom and flexibility — precisely what so many of us are looking for as we explore work-at-home opportunities.
Still, misunderstanding and misinformation could cause many who are searching for that perfect work-at-home opportunity to ignore franchises as a viable option. Don’t! There are plenty of legitimate, potentially lucrative home-based franchising opportunities just waiting for work-at-home women like you to make them your passion and career.
The Truth About Home-Based Franchise Business Opportunities
As you’re researching working at home as a franchisee, don’t allow these myths to negatively influence your decision to move forward:
Myth: Franchises are just fast food joints.
Reality: An article in Forbes magazine cites about 3,000 different franchise brands in the United States, which spread across more than a dozen broad industry categories, many of which can be home-based.
Sure, the most well known fast food companies operate on a franchise model. But there are so many more franchises in all kinds of sectors.
And that list is just a tiny sample.
If you’ve often thought, “Gee, I’d really like to work as a (fill in the blank), but I don’t know how to start,” I bet you’ll find a corporation already in that niche that offers franchise opportunities.
Which takes me to my next point …
Myth: Starting a brand-new franchise business means an overwhelming amount of work, research, and figuring out things for myself in a field in which I should already have experience.
Reality: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and (in most cases) no experience is necessary.
The very best thing about the franchise model—whether you’re pet grooming, running a paint-your-own-art place, or anything in between—is that someone else has blazed a trail before you.
The franchisor has done all the research, invested the time and money in establishing a brand identity, and made all the mistakes. They’ve tested the product or service and tweaked it along the way. They’ve perfected the work processes to establish proven methods and best practices.
Training and support is “baked in” to your deal, so it doesn’t matter that you’re not an expert in the industry or haven’t run a business before. In fact, most franchisors that I’ve worked with say that “passion for the work, product, or service” is the number one thing they look for in a franchisee.
When you purchase a home-based franchise, you’re all but walking into a “turn-key business” with a support team just a phone call or email away.
Myth: Franchises are expensive, and I’ll work really hard with little to show for it.
Reality: Sure, some of them are expensive to open and require a lot of capital up front. But those are probably not the type of business you would want to run anyway.
For women looking for flexible, work-at-home opportunities, lower-cost home-based franchises offer just as much fulfillment professionally as the big businesses and can still be quite lucrative. Because you have little to no overhead when you’re working from home, it makes sense to join a lower-cost franchise, which will allow you to recoup your investment that much more quickly.
I have spoken with dozens of franchisees over the years. While many of them emphasize that there are no guarantees and running a franchise takes a lot of hard work (this is a business, after all!), many also point out that they ultimately have a great deal of freedom in scheduling and balancing work and family life.
The most successful franchisees I’ve spoken with make great livings and love their lives. They do not feel trapped by their jobs, and most of them say they’d never go back to a traditional, corporate work environment. They have an investment for their retirement and an asset to leave their children.
Myth: Signing on with a company as a franchisee will stunt my creative entrepreneurship and “box” me in.
Reality: Scaling your business and your entire portfolio is much easier within a franchise system.
No one wants a franchisee’s success more than the individual—except maybe the franchisor. Your growth is essential to the franchisor because their longevity and viability depend upon it too. Therefore, the franchisor is going to do everything to help their franchisees thrive.
Many franchisees that I’ve spoken to over the years are multi-unit owners, most of whom added their second, third, fourth (or more!) business once their first was established. Growing within the franchise network is generally a next step for many franchisees; if you’ve done a good job, there’s little reason the franchisor would deny you additional ownership.
Subsequent franchise purchases within most systems usually come at a discount, and sometimes (depending on the business) you’re able to get more use out of certain aspects of your initial investment.
How to Find the Ideal Home-Based Franchise
No two home-based franchise opportunities are the same, so thorough research is crucial as you evaluate the myriad companies with franchise networks.
If your primary goal is to run the business from home or on a part-time basis, ask very pointed questions to that effect during your research. Some franchise businesses are completely home-based, while others may require occasional travel or meeting with clients. Before you sign, make sure you know exactly what the business entails.
Franchise industry websites such as FranchiseTimes.com and FranchiseBusinessReview.com publish recurring lists of the best franchises in a variety of categories. The top franchise lists will help you narrow down the type of business you’re looking for and enable you to make some side-by-side comparisons.
Forbes and Entrepreneur also offer in-depth information and analysis of franchising and publish their own rankings lists. The Home-Based Franchise Report 2017 from Franchise Direct is another helpful tool for research.
The Work at Home Woman has done some of the research legwork for you already. Search “franchise” on this website and read about some of the home-based franchises we’ve identified that are good for women who want to work from home.
A Home-Based Franchise Business May Be Perfect for You
If you’ve wanted to work-at-home but haven’t found the right opportunity yet, a home-based franchise may be perfect for you. Think about what type of work you enjoy (working with kids? cooking? photography?) and then look for a reputable, healthy company that offers a franchise doing just that. Don’t allow preconceived notions of franchising to cause you to miss out on a home-based career you’ll love.
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Mary Parker Bernard has helped all types of companies — from small brands to multi-million dollar franchise corporations — grow their businesses through blogging and content marketing. She is a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, TN, where she resides with her husband and three teenagers. Find out more about Mary and her business, A Way With Words, at maryparkerbernard.com.