Is Franchising Your Business Really the Way to Go?

Ultimately, the answer to the question, “Should I franchise my business?” is a personal one. But what most profitable franchise systems excel at that all small businesses can learn from is their systematized, replicable way of doing things. If you’re seeking to franchise your business, you’ll need to document your own systems. Even if you’re not seeking to franchise, documenting your systems can be a good way to go.

And maybe the thought of franchising right now sounds like too much, when all you’re trying to do is survive this economy.  Well, dreaming is free, and strategic dreams are smart.  The “franchise my business” dream just might get you moving on documenting your systems. The immediate reward is better business today, followed by expanded business tomorrow.

fork in the road

How Close Are You to the Dream?

Regardless of the business structure you choose, Susan L. Reid suggests that you stay within two degrees of separation when starting a business. She is concerned that your dream will remain a dream when “the gap between where you are now and what you need to learn to start a business is more than two degrees of separation.”

Not that you can’t learn something new, but if you are looking for a business that can pay off sooner rather than later, then Susan feels that you may need to go for what you know or something near it “because if you extend beyond two degrees, it is likely that you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed with all that you’ll need to learn just to get up to speed.” While you are figuring things out, consider the following question:

Are You Losing Out if You Don’t Franchise?

Scott Shane highlights the numbers in, “How Much Does Franchising Contribute to the Economy?”  Not every industry uses franchising, but for those that do, the franchise system is a power tool employing millions, generating billions in payroll, and accounting for $1.1 trillion in annual sales. When directly compared to independent companies, Shane says, the numbers vary drastically by industry. “Independent establishments have higher average sales, payroll and employment in automotive parts and accessories,” Shane notes, “but in convenience stores, franchisee-owned establishments are higher on all three measures.”

The personal decision about whether or not to franchise your business will be based on something more than numbers (i.e. the freedom, the structure, the passion and the numbers).

Joel Libava, the Franchise King,  points out the 5 reasons fitness franchises keep growing.  He says, “After two solid years of pretty negative small business news, seeing businesses with solid growth is quite energizing.” If you find the one that is right for you, the niche is king.  If fitness is your business niche, Libava says, “the fitness franchises that continue to innovate will be the ones that continue growing.”

The small business landscape is diverse. It takes effort to find what works for you. If it works for you, franchising can be the way to go.


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

5 Reactions
  1. Jamillah,

    I like what you said about the system part of franchising a small business;

    “Even if you’re not seeking to franchise, documenting your systems can be a good way to go.”

    I feel that if more small businesses documented their procedures, they would spend less time cleaning things up, and more time on growth.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Hi “The Franchise King,” I adore the model that franchises provide (and I like what you do).

    For traditional small business owners, systemizing seems difficult in the beginning and easy to run from–until we accept the need and then get into the flow.

    Thanks Joel.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Jamillah, I am starting a new site today that I think could develop and become a franchise sometime in the future. The “stay within two degrees of separation when starting a business” was a very thoughtful advice. I will keep that in mind for the future.

  4. Great info….love reading everyones input. I have a small restaurant delivery and takeout only. Hoping to franchise in the future it’s a great concept. I opened 4 years ago but still unable to go to the next level.