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If Franchising Is Your Back Up Plan, Get A Job!

By John P. Hayes, Ph.D.

A reader wrote to me:

"I am between careers. I was laid off in January from a 27-year engineering career. I'm trying to juggle two possibilities at one time . . .  (1) interview for jobs when they come up and, (2) look at franchise opportunities. I am continuing to research franchises as, frankly, a backup plan. . . I'd definitely like to get your opinion . . . ."

My take on this

Here’s my opinion:

If your "backup plan" is franchising, that's probably not going to work. If it's not your passion to own a business, you probably shouldn’t do it. Owning a business is challenging because there are so many decisions, pitfalls, expenses, etc. If it's not your passion to own a business, specifically in this case a franchise, don't do it.

Bottom line: Franchising never makes a good "backup plan."

Franchise misfits

Unfortunately, due to the recent (or, depending on who you believe, current) recession we're likely to see a lot of misfits in franchising. People have their backs to the wall financially. When their unemployment runs out and they've used up their savings -- what are they to do?

Lots of folks who have a vested interest will tell them: "Buy a franchise!"

That spells disaster for them and for franchising. It won't help franchising when these reluctant buyers, who never really wanted to own a franchise, fail and return to corporate America in a couple of years when jobs are again plentiful. The aftermath of failures and disappointments will further damage franchising's reputation.

I could be wrong. Hope I'm wrong. But history tends to repeat itself!

. . . John P. Hayes writes several franchise-related blogs including HowToBuyAFranchise.com. He is a 30-year franchise veteran and has been a franchisor, franchisee and an industry advisor.


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