“While franchise ownership has always appealed to aspiring entrepreneurs, today we’re seeing more and more people from corporate America drawn to it – people who have been downsized due to the economy” –says Frank Dunne, owner of FranNet of Hudson Valley, which specializes in matching potential business owners with well-fitting franchise opportunities. Dunne is leading a small business workshop on franchise businesses for SCORE Westchester on February 5th. “For many, franchising represents a hedging strategy, particularly since there are many semi-absentee franchises that can help to create multiple income streams. Given current marketplace realities– control over one’s career seems limited, with the prospects of facing multiple downsizings quite real. People need to have a plan that protects them financially.”
The franchise industry is experiencing faster growth than the rest of the economy, according to Dunne. But that’s not the only reason franchises are appealing. “When you choose a franchise, all of the systems are already in place,” Dunne says. “Operational, promotional, and other support plus training – those systems are there for you to leverage.” He cautions that buying a franchise is not a guarantee for success. “The franchise provides the platform for owners to succeed, but the owner still has to do the work!” That being said, Dunne is confident that people who have had corporate careers or military experience already possess many of the leadership and management skills they’ll need to operate a franchise business successfully.
Many Types of Franchise Businesses Exist
“It’s easy for folks to make an association between franchising and the likes of McDonalds, and Dunkin Donuts, but that tier of business represents only about 6 percent of all of franchise businesses,” said Dunne. Currently, there are more than 3,100 franchise concepts, spanning 250 industries.
“Franchises are designed to be comparatively simple, as opposed to being seen as sexy,” Dunne said with a laugh. “At first blush, concepts like junk hauling or floor coverings don’t sound especially exciting, until you realize what the business can do for you. But many of these services are very needed and in some cases even mandated by local municipalities.” Senior care and education services are two sectors that are experiencing greater-than-average growth.
“Bear in mind that some of these businesses can be run from your laptop and phone,” Dunne added. “If you’re not sure what franchising involves or how it can help you make your future more financially secure, come to the workshop.” The SCORE Westchester small business workshop is free and open to all county residents who have or are interested in starting their own business in the Westchester area.