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What Type Are You — Joiner or Lone Wolf?

There are many types of businesses and business models to choose from when someone is going down the path toward business ownership. While doing the research, individuals need to also do a review of their own personal characteristics.

So ask yourself — are you a joiner or a lone wolf?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The fact is, there are qualities that make it ideal for an entrepreneur to go it alone in untested waters and then there are qualities where the right fit is to join an established organization as a franchise owner.

In the franchise industry, people will do their research and then attend a Discovery Day to get to know the corporate entity behind the brand. This also gives the franchisor a chance to size up the prospects. Over the years, we have seen many types come to “discover” what our company is all about and as a result, we have also observed the best type of business owner for this model.

To start, both joiners and a lone wolf need to have an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks.

If you meet these criteria, consider whether you are an independent type of business owner or might thrive with the support of a franchise organization, by viewing the pros and cons of each:

Joining a Franchise

Pros to franchising:

  • tap into a proven system
  • ongoing training & support for you and your staff
  • shared industry alliances
  • assistance with licensure
  • internet marketing and social media managed at a national level
  • access to marketing and PR tools for use in your local market
  • faster ramp up times

Possible Cons to franchising:

  • ongoing royalty fees
  • following rules set by the franchisor
  • paying into a marketing fund
  • other franchisees’ mistakes can hurt the brand

Going it Alone

Pros to going it alone:

  • do it your way and you don’t have to follow a system
  • develop local name recognition
  • no franchise fee or monthly royalties
  • opportunity to learn from your mistakes as you go
  • you make the rules

Possible Cons to going it alone:

  • no safety net
  • longer ramp up times
  • no network of fellow franchisees to bounce ideas off of or help support you
  • you must do all the research and legwork yourself
  • lost time in learning from your mistakes as you go versus having the benefit of learning from others’ past mistakes

Once you have decided on the style that suits you best, get busy! If you opt for joining a franchise, plan for a personal visit with the corporate staff and talk to a few franchise owners in similar markets.

The key to being satisfied with your business venture is to be clear about your goals and expectations up front, so do plenty of research in advance.

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