The biggest marketing challenges facing small business is the economy. While there has been a slow recovery, it’s difficult for an entrepreneur to get bank financing on the strength of a good business idea alone.
Banks would like some reassurance that they will get their loan repaid, and that reassurance usually comes in the form of collateral or financial records that establish that the money is going to build a proven business.
One option would be to opt for starting a franchise. Since the franchise has already established a reputation as a successful business, it will be easier to get funding than if you were to start a business from scratch.
This guide to starting a franchise points out that it is far easier to start a franchise than to build a business from scratch. There are several reasons for this assertion:
More effective marketing.
Unless you know how to market your business, you won’t be in business long. While there are many factors that distinguish a successful business from an unsuccessful one, marketing is close to the top of the list.
Marketing can be challenging for three reasons: one, you may not have the knowledge and skill to do it well, even if you apply some great guerrilla marketing strategies; two, you may not have the money to do much of it or hire a team to do it for you; and three, you may not have the time to do it because of all the other things you need to do to run your business.
When you buy a franchise, the majority of marketing is handled by the higher-ups and can therefore be avoided almost entirely. Since they can buy advertising in bulk, they can get cheaper rates in all form of media. By simply contributing to the market budget, you get low-cost but highly-effective marketing benefits. Unlike traditional routes for getting information to clients and customers, franchises focus on national brand building. If they have been doing it for years, their products are so well known that customer’s recognize a franchise as soon as they see it.
The Golden Arches of McDonald’s aren’t famous because of the quality of fast food, but because the franchise has been advertising the brand since 1955. It’s rare to come across an American who does not know that McDonald’s serves cheap and fast hamburgers, fries, and chicken, as well as milkshakes, salads, and breakfast.
Similarly, even if you buy a much newer franchise opportunity, you can be sure that the franchise has been promoting it for many years on a wide scale. Customers know what you sell as soon as they see your sign.
Easier to acquire practical business knowledge.
New business owners who start their own business may already be familiar with business principles and practices, but there is still a steep learning curve when starting a new business and they will make a lot of expensive mistakes along the way. You have to make small calculated steps, move fast and get feedback.When you buy a franchise, the learning curve is far less steep because you are following an established system of operation. You will be trained on every aspect of running your business.
Only sell a market-researched product line
You won’t have to learn through trial and error what products to sell or how to present, package and price them for high conversions because everything you sell will have been market researched and tested. For instance, if you have a pizza franchise, you won’t have to make a variety of different pizzas to see what sells the best. You will be given the recipes of all pizzas that sell well, as well as the signage, product descriptions and prices that appeal to the majority of consumers.
Lower inventory costs for services and supplies.
You will need to use certain services and buy specific supplies to run your business. While independent business owners, you would have to find the best suppliers and negotiate for the lowest prices, franchise owners benefit from the company having researched the best suppliers and getting the lowest prices based on economies of scale. Since the company will do the ordering for you, you will get the best prices and the most favorable terms.
Franchises offer fresh-faced entrepreneurs a chance to break away from their low-paying, unsatisfying corporate jobs. They can now run their own business rather than focusing all their time on making someone else rich.