One very popular question that’s asked of me during the numerous seminars I give on franchise ownership is this one:
“Aren’t I really just buying myself a job, when I purchase a franchise?”
The answer that I have been giving as of late may surprise you:
“What would be so bad about buying yourself a job today?”
As of this writing, the unemployment numbers are staggering. The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics stated that the national unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in July 2009, seasonally adjusted, little changed from 9.5percent the prior month, but up from 5.8 percent a year earlier. Total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 247,000 over the month and by 5,740,000 from a year earlier. 14.5 million people were unemployed as of July 2009.
If you are one of those 14.5 million people, does buying yourself a job sound all that bad?
Although “buying yourself a job” is really not the goal of most prospective franchise buyers, you are guaranteed one thing: you can’t be downsized.
Most of the folks that I consult with tell me that the one thing they want more of is control. They want to control their own future. They also tell me that it doesn’t seem to matter how good they are in their jobs. If they happen to work for a large public company, it seems to them that the price of the stock dictates their job security. Payroll always seems to be the first thing that’s cut.
So what is your new career path going to look like? Chris Brogan, a social media guru, and a guy that I have been following a lot the past year and a half says this:
“The thing is, there really never was a career path for you. That was something for your dad, or you about four careers ago. But those paths are gone. There’s not really even an indent any more where they were left. So, let’s just level with you now: congratulations. You’re the president of your career.”
I think he’s right. A couple of years ago I attended a talk given by Steven Little. In it, he said this:
“The kids that are going to be graduating college in the next few years will have seven different careers. Not seven different jobs, seven different careers!”
Maybe the folks that are out there “buying jobs” are on the right track. I’d like to share some examples of franchise opportunities that one could say is exactly like buying a job:
- HouseMaster Home Inspections – This is usually a one-person franchise, and one in which you need to be very comfortable climbing on roofs, crawling under furnaces, and inspecting the electrical wiring in homes. This franchise system seems to offer some unique methods when it comes to getting to market.
- Global M.A.R.S. – If you love cars and trucks, and don’t mind getting a little dirty, this franchise offers reconditioning services to automobile dealerships. You’ll be doing things like fixing paint chips, removing door dings, helping with interior odor elimination, and repairing torn leather seats, which will hopefully benefit your customers, by helping them get top dollar when they go to sell these now pristine vehicles.
- The Dentist’s Choice – This is an interesting business. The expensive hand tools that your dentist uses to clean your teeth, and in some unpleasant cases, drill into the decayed areas of your teeth, actually don’t always work. They break down. Enter the local franchise owner of The Dentist’s Choice, a dental handpiece repair specialist. If you like detail work, this low investment franchise offers both. Hayes Handpiece is a similar franchise offering the same types of services, and has been around a long time.
- Surface Specialists Services Inc. – This franchise offers surface restoration services, mostly for residential bathrooms. As a franchisee, you will be refinishing bathtubs, showers, countertops, and whirlpools. One interesting and much needed service they offer is retrofitting. They can make entry areas for tubs and showers lower in height, and add safety bars, which can help the ever growing senior population reduce their risk of injury in the bathroom, which is an all too common occurrence.
- ProEnergy Consultants– Think Green. As a franchise owner of this new concept, your role will be one of energy consulting. Basically, you will do energy “audits” for homeowners. By using a tool called a thermography scanner, you’ll be able to tell where energy is escaping from your customers homes, and make recommendations on how to improve problem areas.This model is very similar to the home inspection type of business, except you are in more of a consultative role.
Do those five examples (and there are many more) give you a better idea of what I mean by “buying yourself a job?”
The franchises I have named could be great opportunities for the right people. If you desire freedom and control (not total control, but much more control than in a corporate setting) then these low-cost, one-person franchises could be one way to secure your future. Even if you have to buy it.
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About the Author: Joel Libava is President and Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists. He blogs at The Franchise King Blog.