A big thank you to Super Cuts Franchising for sponsoring today’s discussion about starting your own business! If franchising is something you might be interested in, be sure to check out their franchising program.
So, you want to start your own business… The first thing many people think when they hear someone talk about starting their own business, especially with today’s economy the way it is, is that they must be crazy. Well, that’s not really accurate, is it? I don’t think I’m crazy and I don’t think you are either! As a matter of fact, I DO own my own business. I started it almost 4 years ago…when I decided to start this site. Who’s starting businesses these days? Well, lots of people are!
Building from the Ground Up vs Franchising
Some start from scratch (SO VERY HARD) and others take the route of a franchise. What is a franchise? Basically, a franchise is an operating model that you are authorized to use for a specific business type and name. Some examples of franchised companies are McDonald’s, Super Cuts, Applebee’s, CiCi’s Pizza, Maaco, Motel 6, ReMax, U-Haul… I could keep going. These businesses, while McDonald’s is McDonald’s are all owned by different people. They operate under the same business model, distributing the same products, but have support and resources on a higher level.
Wants vs Needs
What type of business do you want to operate? Are you interested in selling a product or providing a service…maybe both? When you look at what you’re offering (or want to offer), there are a couple questions that are important to ask, especially with today’s economy…
1) Is your offering a *need* or a *want*?
2) Is your offering *consumable*?
Let’s deal with *need* vs *want* first, as it’s the most important. Is your offering something that could be done without indefinitely? Say you’re interested in selling jewelry… Is jewelry something that people can do without indefinitely? The simple answer, yes. It’s not a *need*. If the economy is slow, will you see a decline in your business? Yes. Why? Because people don’t *need* jewelry. It’s a *want*. What about something like a haircut (remember our sponsor, Super Cuts?) Haircuts, whether it’s professionally done or not, are a *need*. Everyone needs a haircut at some point or another. Now, sometimes they can be a want too, and that’s ok, but there will always be a demand for haircuts.
Now, let’s talk *consumable*. Is your offering something that will bring you repeat customers? Let’s stick with the jewelry vs haircut analogy. Say I *want* a new necklace. I buy my new necklace and my want has been satisfied. When will I buy another new necklace? Maybe in 3 months, maybe in 2 years, maybe never. If I take care of the necklace I bought, it could potentially be the last piece of jewelry I ever buy. Now, say I *need* (or for that matter *want*) a haircut. When will I get another haircut? Probably 6-8 weeks. Could I go years without getting another one? Maybe. It’s possible, but not probable. Haircuts are consumable. The *need* to have another will arise again, and within a reasonable amount of time. A good stylist commands repeat customers.
Where does that leave you?
Hopefully, this information gives you some things to think about. After digesting all of that information, so you still want to start your own business? What do you think about the idea of franchising vs starting from the ground up?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on business ownership, especially in today’s economy, and your ideas about starting your own business or stories about your personal experiences with starting your business.