Choosing the Right Franchise

Entry Level Franchisees

Can a 22 year old really run a franchise successfully with no prior business experience? That’s the question many franchisors are asking. At the 2013 International Franchising Association Conference, one of the takeaways was that franchisors are looking to reduce “overall investment and simplify operations to accommodate and compensate for youth and inexperience.”

More new grads are thinking about business ownership as their first foray into the work world. Whether it’s the amount of press young entrepreneurs receive or the tight job market, starting a new business is more appealing to the current crop of grads than to previous generations. Franchisors see this increase in younger applicants as an opportunity to grow alongside budding business owners — and you can take advantage of this new trend, regardless of your age, if you’re inexperienced.

There really isn’t much difference between someone who’s worked in a business for a few years and a new college graduate in terms of experience running a business. While those who have worked for five years or so may understand more about how to behave in business than new graduates, they may not have more skills in terms of business ownership. Often an entry-level corporate job gives very little insight into how a business is run. Responsibilities may be limited and the big picture may not be visible from the vantage point of a cubicle. 

Franchising is often a good option for entry-level business owners because of the guidance that’s provided with some of the best franchise systems. Whether you’re a new college grad seeking a different way to start employment or someone with dreams of owning a business but with little business experience, franchise ownership can provide an easier path.

When you’re looking for entry-level options into business ownership, looking at low-cost, low-risk franchises that provide strong training is a good idea. While there are more choices in franchises with higher investment amounts, limiting your search by how much you can invest in a franchise can help you reduce risk. Use our franchise search tool to narrow your search by investment and you’ll see that there are still plenty of options.

A franchise like Merry Maids that requires a mid-range investment and lower entry thresholds can also be a great choice for entry-level franchises. The risk is lower than high investment franchises and extensive training gives a higher chance of success. Unlike other programs that use a short one or two day training, Merry Maids trains franchisees for 8 full days and provide ongoing support for franchisees through every step of their business. For the inexperienced business owner, guidance and training can provide the knowledge needed for success instead of learning through big mistakes and failure.

Lower investment options often don’t have as much training and ongoing support and leave it up to the franchisees to figure it all out on their own—for experienced business owners, these options are good choices but might not provide the help an entry-level business owner needs. Balancing out the investment with the training and support is the key to an entry-level franchise’s success.

To figure out where your balance point is, think about how long you’d want to take to pay back investments if you’re borrowing start-up capital, how much you could potentially earn as a failed franchisee, and what level of training you need to be successful. Focusing on these traits of your individual situation can help you learn how much you’re wiling to spend and just how much help you need. After figuring these points out, take a look at our franchises recommendations by investment level  to see what options are available that may fit your needs.

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