Buying a Franchise

The Perfect Franchise Job

Sometimes you hear people scornfully saying that investing in a franchise business opportunity is “just buying a job.” This is said in a scornful way because there’s a background assumption that being an entrepreneur is a higher form of work. Building and selling your business, then retiring on the wealth you created, is considered a higher form of work than having a satisfying job by the people who say these scornful things.

Think again.

Do people buy jobs?

Of course they do. Investing in vocational training, a college education, a snazzy resume, a job-hunting wardrobe, and all the other accoutrements of the job-hunter is an investment in getting a job. There are jobs (such as a partnership in a law firm) which require buy-in, but most people with satisfying jobs have made a significant investment of time and money to get there. Calling it “investing in your career” instead of “buying a job” doesn’t change the facts.

Do businesses create wealth?

Some do and some don’t, if we’re talking about personal wealth. More than half of small businesses in the U.S. fold in the early years, and plenty of businesses close when the owners retire. They may have sold their business for a tidy sum, but they may also have provided a satisfying job for themselves and closed the business with no more wealth than any canny employee could have built in the same time.

Is a business a job?

For most small businesses, the owner of the business is a worker, at least at first. He or she may become an executive if the business is successful, but that usually requires plenty of hard work. Many small business owners happily continue with their lifestyle businesses for many years, enjoying the opportunity to work for themselves or to work with their families. Whether the business is a franchise or not isn’t necessarily relevant.

So forget the “just buying a job” jabs and think about whether investing in a franchise will give you a satisfying career. That is one of the positive outcomes franchise business opportunities offer. If you plan to be an executive franchisee with multiple profitable units, you might not need to think about what a franchise offers you in terms of employment. If you want to have meaningful work, it matters.

Different jobs offer different things:

  • Money. If you don’t get paid, it’s a hobby, but a high income might not be on your list of things you want in a job. Retirees, parents wanting to have something on the side while they bring up children, or people who have a financially rewarding job which doesn’t bring them the emotional rewards they want — these are just a few of the kinds of franchisees who may not put money first.
  • Prestige. Some jobs have more prestige than others, and some people care about this more than others. If you see business ownership as a path to social advancement, this is something to think about. Imagine answering, “What do you do?” with the primary offering of the franchise you are considering and see how proud it makes you feel.
  • Making a difference. A franchise that lets you give back to your community and make a difference for causes you care about may give you satisfaction that makes money and prestige irrelevant to your choice. If this is the most important part of a job for you, make sure to include questions about this aspect of the franchises you consider.
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