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What is a Franchise?

Definition of Franchise

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What is a franchise? A franchise is a right granted to an individual or group to market a company's goods or services within a certain territory or location. Some examples of today's popular franchises are McDonald's, Subway, Domino's Pizza, and the UPS Store.

There are many different types of franchises. Many people associate only fast food businesses with franchising. In fact, there are over 120 different types of franchise businesses available today, including automotive, cleaning & maintenance, health & fitness, financial services, and pet-related franchises, just to name a few.

How Franchising Works

If you are thinking about buying into a franchise system, it is important that you understand exactly how franchising works, what fees are involved, and what is expected of you from the franchise company.

An individual who purchases and runs a franchise is called a "franchisee." The franchisee purchases a franchise from the "franchisor." The franchisee must follow certain rules and guidelines already established by the franchisor, and in most cases the franchisee must pay an ongoing franchise royalty fee, as well as an up-front, one-time franchise fee to the franchisor. Franchising has become one of the most popular ways of doing business in today's marketplace. In most states you cannot drive three blocks without seeing a nationally recognized franchise company.

The History of Franchising

Franchising began back in the 1850's when Isaac Singer invented the sewing machine. In order to distribute his machines outside of his geographical area, and also provide training to customers, Singer began selling licenses to entrepreneurs in different parts of the country. In 1955 Ray Kroc took over a small chain of food franchises and built it into today's most successful fast food franchise in the world, now known as McDonald's. McDonald's currently has the most franchise units worldwide of any franchise system.

Today, franchising is helping thousands of individuals be their own boss and own and operate their own business. Franchising allows entrepreneurs to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. There is usually a much higher likelihood of success when an individual opens a franchise as opposed to a mom and pop business, since a proven business formula is in place. The products, services, and business operations have already been established.

Advantages of Buying a Franchise

There are many advantages to buying a franchise. Some of these advantages are:
  • Corporate image - The corporate image and brand awareness of the company is already established. Consumers are always more comfortable purchasing items from a familiar name or company they trust.
  • Training - The franchisor usually provides extensive training and support to the franchise owner.
  • Savings in time - Since the franchise company already has the business model in place you can focus on running a successful business.
There is a reason why franchising has been around for decades. It is a great way for individuals to own and operate their own business. If you are thinking about buying a franchise, do your homework, research the company, and you should consult with a franchise consultant or franchise attorney before making a final commitment.

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