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What Are You Giving Up When You Buy a Franchise?

Jim Lowenstern, CEO of Castles Unlimited, explains the reasons why buying a franchise may not be such a good idea.

It might seem like a dream come true – an established, ready-made enterprise just waiting for you to slice off a piece of the pie. But it's important to realize what you could be giving up when you buy a franchise.

Branding. When you buy into a recognized franchise, you are giving up your own vision. The franchise already has a brand, and you sign on to help promote that brand – not to create a new brand of your own.

Advertising. Franchises have their own advertising plan, on a regional or even national scale. Thinking small and smart isn't going to work on a large canvas, so you can expect to pay into an existing advertising scheme – whether your arm of their business needs it or not.

Autonomy. Any creative ideas you have must be tossed out the window when you buy a franchise. The franchisor already has a big game board in place, and you are simply one of the many pieces on that board.

Time. All businesses require a time commitment – often seven days a week. But if you're building your business from scratch, that effort can be quite rewarding. When you buy a franchise, you are working those long, hard hours to promote someone else's company. 

Trust. If you're going into business with someone, you need to be able to trust your partner. But when you buy a franchise, you buy into a large conglomerate with a franchisor whom you may or may not trust. In the end, that partnership could end badly; it's a marriage, and statistics tell us that 50% of all marriages fail.

Before you snag that "too-good-to-be-true" opportunity, it's best to check the fine print to see what you may be giving up if you sign on to buy that franchise. As with any business opportunity, you're going to need to have a clear picture of what you're getting yourself into, and whether it's the right move for you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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