Starting a business requires an upfront investment of time and money. Then, once the business is established and turning a consistent and healthy profit (you can expect it to take up to two years to reach this stage), you should have much more flexibility. You can choose how involved you are in the day-to-day business, how big a team you want to build, how many hours you want to work and when each of your workdays starts.
Issues with employee turnover and uncertain revenue flows may still exist, of course, but with greater control, you will get to decide for yourself how you will deal with those situations when they arise.
Being your own boss
Self-employment comes with the benefit of being your own boss. More Canadians than ever are hopping from one job to the next. While this is partly due to a desire for increased career opportunities, a survey by Workopolis found the number one reason people choose to leave their jobs (37 per cent) is a poor relationship with their boss.
Small business ownership is an attractive and viable option for those looking to escape the office politics and related stresses that can come with working in the corporate world. You can combine the autonomy of self-employment with the proven support systems of the franchising sector.
Franchise or independent?
If you are considering opening your own business, you should first consider whether you want to start your own independent business or open a franchise. Both options can provide more work-life control for you, but there are major differences between them.
Going out on your own means you will need to operate without a proven business model, without the safety net of a predictable paycheque and without the support system of a centralized organization. You will need to figure out everything about running your business as you go along.
This can easily result in missing opportunities or making mistakes you do not even know you have made until weeks or months afterwards. Such factors contribute to a higher potential for business failure, with 50 per cent of ‘start from scratch’ businesses failing after their first five years.
Franchise ownership may also not mean a predictable paycheque at first, but by comparison, it provides the additional security of a proven business model and a support network.
Training and support networks
Franchise systems offer a higher success rate than independent businesses do when starting from scratch. Indeed, franchising in Canada boasts a success rate of approximately 80 per cent. This is largely due to the benefit of the franchisor providing a proven business model and both initial and ongoing support to its franchisees, helping them stay on the right track.
Franchisors’ support services for their franchisees often include—but are not necessarily limited to—access to loans, business planning, site selection, initial and ongoing marketing, human resources (HR) staffing insight and ongoing business coaching. Owners of small, independent businesses are rarely able to afford access to equivalent resources, especially during their launch phase.