Franchising – A Great Alternative to Traditional Business Ownership

Rich Wallace, Window GenieAn article by Virginia Bridges of newsobserver.com, suggests that entrepreneurs have nothing to fear when it comes to pursuing their dreams of owning a business. Most entrepreneurs have an intense passion for their area of expertise but lack the experience and knowledge required to physically start a business. Fortunately for them, that does not mean they can’t explore other options.

Alisa Harrison, senior vice president of communications and marketing for the International Franchise Association, states that franchises offer prospective owners the opportunity to go into business for themselves but not by themselves; however success is not guaranteed. Prospective owners must conduct extensive research, have enough capital to get their business up and running, and spend enough time cultivating the endeavor in order to begin seeing positive results.

According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), franchises are steadily growing in number every year by approximately 1.5 percent. This is largely due to the fact that franchises offer many advantages. Ted Zoller, a UNC-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School professor and the director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, said franchise advantages include a template business with a predefined pricing and marketing strategy, and access to market research. He goes on to say that the biggest advantage overall is the relevance and visibility of the brand. “People know the brand based on experience with it elsewhere,” Zoller said. “So you can immediately get traction.”

Rich Wallace, 34, of Window Genie of North Raleigh is experiencing the sort of traction that franchises can provide. Wallace originally wanted to open a coffee shop but his background was in administration and information technology. This led him to explore franchising as a viable option. “I know how to manage an existing business, but I didn’t know how to get started,” Wallace said. “A franchise system was going to give me the coaching I needed and the freedom I also wanted to run my own business.”

In the summer of 2011, Wallace sought help from SCORE, which offers free counseling to small businesses. Representatives there directed Wallace to Daniel Prendergast with The Entrepreneur’s Source, a franchisor that offers business coaching and helps connect prospective owners with franchising and business opportunities. Mr. Prendergast presented Wallace with three companies and Wallace decided on Window Genie. It soon became apparent to Wallace that Window Genie was where he belonged, though he came to this realization after doing extensive research on the other two companies. As with any business, there were considerable start-up costs. For example, Wallace had to purchase all of this own equipment which included a pressure washer and ladders totaling nearly $7,000. Window Genie supplies training and most of his marketing materials though he still had to spend nearly $19,000 to purchase a vehicle and supplemental marketing items.

Wallace has really enjoyed the freedoms that Window Genie allows. He is operating his own business, hiring his own employees, and has direct access to the franchise’s experts and technicians for support. He summed up his experience by saying, “They guide. I decide. They approve.”

Franchising has satisfied the entrepreneurial appetite of this young business owner.


Source “Franchising means entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone” by Virginia Bridges