I heard on public radio a few days ago that defaults on SBA guaranteed loans to franchisees rose more than 50% last year. One in ten franchises closed their doors. Many businesses that are not franchises fail each year as well.
I mention franchises because they supposedly have an edge over independently owned businesses. When you buy a franchise, you buy an established brand and a business and marketing model that has proven to be successful.You get the resources and suppliers. You get the advertising slicks that all you have to do is fill in your local info and send them to the local media.
The problem with most—both franchises and independent businesses — isn’t just the economy. It’s really more the mistakes these business owners have made from the day they opened their doors.
The economy is merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’ll talk about some of these mistakes in a later post.
But during depressions and the cycles of economic downturns and upswings, new independent businesses, that will later become franchise,s are begun. They don’t start as a huge business with all the resources they need to get established. They start out just as you are.
McDonalds is one example. It started as a small local business in a depressed economy. It was grown into a huge franchise much later.
Independent businesses have advantages over franchises that are rarely mentioned.
A franchaisee trades dollars for a business model
You begin with an idea that you’re enthusiastic about.
You do your research and learn whatever skills you don’t know.
You locate your own suppliers and talk to those suppliers about the particular niche you’ve chosen.
You learn from the ground up.
You create your business plan based on what your vision is for your business and what money you have to put into it.
In the end, your business isn’t just a replica of one in San Jose, CA or Tampa FL.
Your business is unique.
As a result, when you talk about your business you understand it. You’re enthusiastic. And, if you’ve done your research right, you’ve selected the proper business model, the best location for your business (whether it’s in rented real estate or is homebased) and you know what to expect from your business.
You are your business and your decisions will determine its success or failure.