If you're tired of working for other people, you might consider taking charge of your professional life by running a business of your own. Even if you're content with your career, you might want another income stream for the financial stability and extra abundance it might provide. In either case, a franchise is a way to operate a business with an established market, and doing so with an online business should mean you can work from anywhere. Online franchising opportunities are growing as more businesses embrace a shift into the digital world. You can benefit from this if you know how to do it and what factors to consider simultaneously.
What Is a Franchise?
A franchise starts with a franchisor who creates a business system involving a trade name or trademark featuring specific products or services. Franchisees pay initial fees for business within the franchise system and royalties on anything they sell. Technically speaking, a "franchise" is the contract that binds these parties together. However, in common language, "franchise" means the distinct businesses franchisees operate. "Franchising" is the act of creating a brand and distributing it. McDonald's is perhaps the most famous example of franchising, as thousands of entrepreneurs own and operate many restaurants as part of the larger corporate brand. However, a franchise does not obviously have to be food related they can exist across all business niches.
What Is an Online Franchise?
An online franchise follows these definitions except for doing business mostly through digital mediums. This would be in contrast to in-person meetings and brick-and-mortar storefronts. Online franchises let their respective brands reach consumers nationwide or even worldwide, and they can be open for business around the clock. Communications might happen via website, chat, e-mail, phone, or text which could vary. A franchisor might expand their business easily and quickly because franchisees can jump in with lower overhead.
How To Franchise Your Online Business
If you want to franchise an online business, you can do so in two ways. First, you can offer others the opportunity to be a franchise in your existing brand. Second, you can convert your existing business into a franchise of someone else's brand.
Offer Your Own Franchising Opportunities
If you decide to let independent contractor run their own franchises within your brand, then you have to take a certain number of steps. That starts with ensuring your business is in a good position for franchising, and you have to protect your company's intellectual property. Analyzing the budget and other elements of your business is vital in this step as you may have to move some assets within your company around. Government regulations mandate that you create a financial disclosure document, also known as an FDD. You must also draft a thorough franchise agreement and operational manual that franchisees will follow. Sometimes assistance from a business lawyer is required or recommended in order to do this step as the document should cover all the bases and can be very technical. The FDD has to be registered and filed with the relevant authorities. Finally, you'll formulate a strategy for achieving sales and revenue goals.
Join Someone Else's Franchise System
On the other hand, you can approach this from another angle and join someone else's brand as a franchise. Start by thinking about what you're interested in and want to accomplish; consider whether franchising is right for you and what kind of franchise you'd like to participate in. Research the possibilities that are available to you, and evaluate each of them for the potential fit. If you choose one, form your own corporation or LLC to protect yourself regarding personal liability. Start the franchise application, and provide all necessary documentation and information necessary to complete the process. Also, look for the franchising you need, and that might range from $50,000 up to $1 million. Sign the franchise agreement and start doing business under another brand when everything aligns. There are also franchise websites that can connect you with other franchises all across the world in several different types of business niches.
What Else You Should Know About Operating an Online Franchise
Operating an online franchise has both benefits and drawbacks. How much each of these matters to you and even whether some are important will vary from one person to the next.
One big allure of online franchising is the typically lower initial investment, given how much lower the overhead is for digital operations than a physical storefront. With that also comes environmental friendliness and much more work flexibility in your personal life. Streamlined operations keep the savings going during actual operations, and you might be able to finally achieve a work-life balance that you truly crave and enjoy.
Online work can be isolating, and self-motivation might be an issue. This work can be very unsatisfying if you enjoy a personal touch or connection with clients. Competition can also be fierce online, and you need to be tech-savvy. Cybersecurity threats are always present and, unfortunately, on the rise in many industries.
Consider the Opportunities
Franchising involves opportunities, but it also carries risks. If you want to let others franchise your business, you open yourself up to a lot more profit at the risk of others damaging your brand. Should you choose to be a franchise for someone else, you have a lot of work to do to join, but you can take part in a known brand. Weigh the pros and cons of both situations so you can make the best possible choices for yourself and your business moving into the future. Franchising also allows you to widen your knowledge of the business world and depending on the route you go at it can expand your own company’s range as well. Therefore, no matter if you’re just starting in the business system or are a veteran in the entrepreneurial world you can always participate in a franchise.
Written by Taylor McKnight