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Franchise Home Business

Updated on July 23, 2008

So You Want To Work At Home?

There is a big attraction to starting out in business with a franchise.

The promise of a successful formula that's been proven, the idea that you can enjoy being at home while making some good money. It's an alluring dream, alright. In fact, I love this idea of being able to stay at home most the time, finding a great balance between work and home.

Before you go any further - do you know the catches? The "gotchas" that can turn your starting a business dream into a franchise nightmare?

I do. I had to learn the hard way though. You see, I bought a franchise that was home-based, but got caught up in the excitement of going into business. I was so wrapped up in the thrill of the moment that I failed to spot the risks involved, because the risks in a franchise are just as big as when you start a business on your own.

You've got a contract you have to honour. You pay out a stack of money first just to get the franchise name on your business cards (and hopefully their system for success comes with it).

But your small office that will be perfect for the business might soon be over-flowing with boxes of paper, filing and stock that you can hardly climb over!

And make sure you ask the right questions before you sign! When you buy a franchise, you are not protected by consumer law. Special franchise laws designed to protect you won't work, because the franchisors have figured out how to build loopholes into their contracts.

So what is a potential franchisee to do? ...

Here's some top tips to stay out of franchise hell and get into franchise heaven...

Tick All The Boxes Before You Say Yes...

small franchise business - only sign up after you've researched it thoroughly
small franchise business - only sign up after you've researched it thoroughly

MidnightPiper's Top Tips To Reach Home-Business Heaven...

  1. Choosing a franchise just because you don't know how else to start a business is not a good reason to buy. Read up on starting your own business, write a business plan for doing it yourself. Read up on marketing, selling, business management etc so that you know your alternative to a franchise. This gives you something to compare it with, for value.
  2. Learn about the pros and cons of franchising long before you sign up for "due diligence" or anything else. Read as much as you can in a specialist small franchise business guide before you do it. It could save you a fortune.
  3. Don't believe the hype about franchises being more reliable than your own start-up. It's complete garbage. If the franchisor tells you that you're 10x better off in a franchise, ask him to show you proof of where the stats come from. He's feeding you cow dung (I'm being polite, ok?).
  4. If they say "you're paying for the brand", if it's not a brand you knew 6 months ago yourself, it's not a brand anybody else will know either. So why should you pay for a name nobody has ever heard of?
  5. Talk to other franchisees and find out how easily they get customers. If many of them are struggling, but blame it on themselves, read my franchise nightmares hub to see why it's the franchise, not them, that's at fault.

I really could say a lot more, because there's lots more to know.

I think there are some great franchises around, but there are some real dogs too. Please get yourself a good book filled with all the questions to ask - bad franchises are worse than your own bad business because they are really difficult to escape once you've signed the agreement.

If you think that what I've said here is useful, please tell me, and join my fan club to let me know you like it too - that way I'll be inspired to write some more!


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      pete 8 years ago

      good stuff! i have a family member who has been through five or six franchises and all failed. I keep telling him the same things you said above. The branding is attractive but is such a small gain. A recognizable brand is so time consuming to build that a franchise seems attractive. The one i got involved in was so over-saturated that I had to reinvent the product to stand out with all the others in the area. It would have been the same amount of work to invent my own product and run with it.

    • profile image

      midnightpiper 9 years ago


      Thanks for stopping by to add your experiences. I love your idea of the franchise like a fruit machine - it's a lot more a gamble than people realise.

      Good luck in what you choose to do next.

    • profile image

      Glassyman 9 years ago

      I have been in a franchise for 18mths now and have quit it this week. It didnt deliver what it said, and the franchisors just milked it as a cash cow. I ended up paying for things through the franchise, that you end up doing yourself anyway. In the end I realised that it is like a fruit machine, you put £70 in, and you might wind £50 back. At the end of the day the stories here all sound familiar, and so relevant. If you are going to be succesful at anything, you dont need a franchise to do it. Never mind, lesson learnt.

    • viralprospector profile image

      viralprospector 9 years ago from DFW Texas

      I really like your post. I agree that there are far more scams out there than legitimate opportunities.

      May I add a couple of other things to consider. There is no free lunch, get rich quick model (at least not that is legal). Run from those claims.

      Check out the product (or service) you will be selling thoroughly. If you would not stand in line to buy it for that price, pass. Why would someone else want it?

      Can you generate traffic for the website (assuming this is web based)? If they claim "yes", measure other franchisees. Often the main site gets traffic, but the franchisses cannot. One of the big motivators is "we will give you a site". Usually, that falls into the duplicate content category at Google. They will not list it.

      Thanks for caring enough to try to help others not get scammed. Your good work will be rewardsd. Let's hear more from you...