Franchising: Small Business School

Hands-on business education
Here is a question many of us have as a new entrepreneur: How to start?

Some people advise you to apply for a job in a company and learn from within. Some others advise you to start somehow and do trials-and-errors along the way. Another thing some would advise you to do is to buy a franchise. If you have access to small business funding, franchising might offer you a good place to starting up – a place to learn; a small business school.

Franchising: an expensive small business school?

Sure, franchising is probably not for bootstrappers. Franchises are considerably expensive, indeed. Fortunately, the current economic situation has brought you more low-cost franchising options than ever.

Unless you have mentors who can guide you by hand during your early tenure in entrepreneurship, buying the right franchise can bring you the education of a lifetime.

I owned two franchise units in the past, and to say the least, running both franchise units is the best entrepreneurship education I can get – plus a bonus. They were going out of business, partly because of my poor decision making, and partly because of the uncertain economy. So yes, I get invaluable all-in-one education from my 4 years of franchise ownership – from how to start up a business to how to close down your business ‘elegantly’ – and survived bankruptcy.

It is said that franchising allows you to take a shortcut into entrepreneurship. I’ll say that this way of thinking is hugely misleading. Even with the proven franchising system, you are required to learn your way into success. Unless you buy a passive-ownership franchises that allows you to have a hands-off franchise ownership but cost you a fortune, you still need to get your hands wet and dirty.

What you’ll learn in franchising

You will learn all the basics of business management – business planning, business administration, hiring-and-firing, business strategy implementation, marketing, selling, taking care due diligences, and many more. In franchising, you’ll receive a big plus: To learn how a proven and successful franchise system can be replicated to hundreds, even thousands of stores with high success rate.

You will also receive business operating manual, franchise agreements and all the needed forms and templates to help you run your franchise unit – this is a great asset for you, either you later want to stick to franchising or decide to go on your own.

Franchising is well worth it

Yes, all in all, franchising is indeed an expensive small business school. But think about it this way: If you have $10,000 cash in hand, would you go to college or buy a franchise? The answers may be very, but if you asked me, my answer would be: buy a franchise – the best place for small business education with a great return on investment.

Colleges give you the necessary education, but notoriously lack of hands-on experiences. On contrary, franchising is obviously not offering you any lecturing and so on, but it offers you a ‘controlled environment’ where you can learn-by-doing on how an exceptional system works and how to implement an idea or two without exposing your business too much to failure.

What’s your view on this? Please share yours by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Small business schoolboy

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