Is that a fair question? Will that question give you a reason to slow things down a bit, if yo;re already in the throes of franchise exploration? Good!
Are you currently experiencing one of the following problems?
Out of work/ca-t find a job
Miserable in your current job
Not making enough money
Working too many hours (for someone else)
If yo-re having career-related problems like the ones I just named, maybe i's time to look into franchise or even non-franchise ownership ideas. But, are you willing to sacrifice a lot of the things that you usually get as an employee? Things like;
A regular paycheck
Matching retirement plans
Most of you are probably thinking that it would be well worth giving those things up for some serenity and peace of mind. After all, yo're in serious career-related pain, right?
Is it possible that yo'd be trading one kind of pain, for another kind? I certainly do't want you to think that 'm being negative here. But, there are some drawbacks to business ownership.
Le's talk about your paycheck. Yo're not going to get one (for a while.) Of course, you could apply for a large enough loan that would allow you to take a small salary for a while, but yo'd be paying interest on it. A start-up business, franchise or not, typically doesn't bring in enough revenue at first to allow you to take money out for a regular paycheck. Can you handle that?
Another thing that you won't typically find in a start-up franchise is a health insurance plan. (I have heard of some franchisors that have a health insurance plan/pool set up with existing franchisees, but it's a rarity.) If your spouse or significant other happens to have a job with health insurance, treat her/him like royalty. This is something you'd want to keep, for as long as possible. It's a major expense for small business owners.
Other things that you're used to getting as an employee, like retirement plans with matching funds contributed to your account by your employer, will be going away. You can always set up a plan for your business, but, it's different. (It's still good though!)
Would you like a paid vacation when you become your own boss? Fantastic. Write yourself a check, and go on vacation. (You may be a tad nervous when you finally do get to take a vacation, because someone else will be running the show.) You'll need to have some flexibility, too. There are certain times that you just won't be able to go, especially if your business has some seasonality to it. Erase the term two week paid vacation from your everyday vocabulary. You're the boss now.
Transitioning from employee to employer can be a tough transition. It's not for everybody. For some, it could be a super-positive, life-changing event. For others, it may bring a new set of problems that are much more intense that being out of work, or being stuck in a lousy employment situation.
The last statement was not meant to scare you, but to make sure that you look at both sides of the business ownership equation.
If you decide to start a search for that perfect business, please make sure that you know what it is that you're hoping to find. Are you hoping for 'the answer to all your problems?' Or, are you just really burned out with the corporate culture? Could you be running away from that?
Investing in a business of your own really could turn out to be a fantastic experience for you. You may be able to experience lots of freedom and control in your professional life. You could end up building a substantial business.
You are the one that has to decide if investing in a business of your own can solve your problems. Take your time, and do your homework. You'll get your answers.
(The Franchise King ®, Joel Libava, is president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc. Joel helps those interested in exploring franchise ownership all over the country find great opportunities that are a great match for them. He is frequently called on by the media for his no-spin insights on the world of franchising. Joel is also deeply entrenched in social media. His latest project is an educational one, Franchise Online University.com)