Choosing the Right Franchise, Investor/Executive Ownership, Should you go into business?

Can You Run a Franchise As An Absentee Owner?

Quite a few franchise businesses can be run either as an absentee or executive owner, or with a part-time commitment. So, if you currently have a full-time job, would it make sense to keep your day job and work your franchise on the side until it’s earning well enough to support you in the style to which you’re accustomed?

It makes sense. Instead of waiting till you have enough capital to finance your business and support yourself, instead of feeling suspense while the business builds up, worrying whether you’ll have enough to live on comfortably, you can let your day job finance the franchise as it grows. It’s hard to see any down side.

But there certainly can be a downside. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself:

Franchise Absentee Owner Questions

  • How demanding is your current job? If you leave work at the office and have your evenings and weekends free, you could spend that free time running your side business. If you’re on call, have lots of late nights, and represent your employer at social and community events on a couple of weekends a month, you may not really have time to run a business on the side.
  • Are there clauses in your contract? You can choose a franchise that allows part-time or absentee owners, but your current job may have a clause that forbids moonlighting. Check for the non-compete clause, too, if you’re thinking of running a franchise in the same field you currently work in. You might not even have noticed those paragraphs in the contract years ago when you signed it, but they could end you up in trouble now.
  • How demanding is your life? One franchisee we talked with loved the idea of spending more time with her children; that was the appeal of the franchise business for her. Working her day job and running the franchise on the side meant that she spent time with her kids mostly just when they were acting as unpaid helpers in the franchise. Nobody was really happy with that. If you have plenty of free time and you spend it watching TV, you may need a challenge. If you spend it doing things you’ll miss, you have to be sure you can do without those activities for a few years while you make the transition.
  • Can you serve two masters? Some people can compartmentalize their lives and focus entirely on one thing during the day and a different thing in the evening. Others will find themselves thinking of their business while they’re at their salaried job, slacking off at whichever job turns out to be less satisfying, and feeling torn between the two.
  • How’s your health? No matter how much you love your new franchise business or how well organized you are, you can be sure that working full time plus will take a toll. You will have less sleep, less relation, more hurried meals, and fewer days off… at least for a while. That can be completely worth doing, but only if you’re strong enough to keep it up.

If after answering these questions you still think it’s a good idea, you may be a perfect candidate for the side business.

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