If you're thinking of going into business for yourself, one option is to buy a franchise in a national or regional chain. Franchises are available for restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, cleaning companies and many other fields. It's not a decision to make lightly. Some things to consider:
•Benefits: As a franchisee, the parent company will typically provide you with training, assistance in establishing your business, and help with marketing and advertising. Most franchisers will offer ongoing advice and support. You may also get the benefit of having an established brand name and using a business model that has been tried and tested.
•Costs: You will have to pay a franchise fee at the start, which could be from several thousand dollars to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and may be nonrefundable. You will have to pay the parent company royalties based on your revenue. You may also have to pay into an advertising fund.
•Control: As a franchisee, you will not have total control over your business. The franchiser may have the right to approve the site you select, control the look and design of your outlet, restrict the goods or services you sell, choose employee uniforms and designate store hours. You may also be limited in the territory in which you can operate.