Franchise vs. Startup: How to Choose What is Right for You - Giuseppe Grammatico

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I am a first-generation immigrant, my family moved to the States many years ago from Italy to pursue a better life. I got my first taste of entrepreneurship working in our family restaurant, fast-forward to college graduation and I quickly figured out I hated the corporate environment. After several interviews with various companies, I realized corporate America wasn’t right for me. That’s when I reached out to a franchise coach, and we started exploring the options. In 2007, I bought my first franchise business in the commercial cleaning and maintenance industry. I recently exited those businesses and now I am a franchise coach for others.

When it comes to making the decision if a franchise is right for you, it generally boils down to systems. From the beginning, a franchise business already has established systems in place. I wouldn’t say starting a franchise is any better than starting your own business. It just comes down to do you like the idea of creating your own processes or following the path to success someone else has already established. Also, what I have seen in my 20 years of being in the industry is sometimes the franchise is the motivation that helps people have the confidence to launch their own business later.

We help clients navigate through the process to find the best option given their unique situation. When it comes to purchasing a franchise there are several ways to raise the money needed. You could put down cash, leverage an SBA loan, even home equity loans are a popular choice or even fund it with retirement savings. Those are just a few but there are dozens of options which is why we recommend a funding partner to our clients to help them find the option that best fits their situation.

There are a few key skills that are beneficial if you are looking to become a franchisee. A franchise is a business and as a business owner, you need to be able to lead others. There’s also a sales aspect to any business and as the owner, you are the face of the business. You don’t have to take on the primary role of sales, but you need to be involved in chamber events or other similar organizations to help spread the word about your business. Specifically, as a franchisee, you need to be coachable because you will be working with the franchisor and following their process. The main reasons we see franchisees fail are they bought into a franchise that’s not a good fit for them, they don’t have enough capital set aside in the early days, or they don’t want to follow the processes outlined by the franchisor.

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