Entrepreneurship is enticing for many people, but not everyone wants to start from the ground up or has an idea to create a business from scratch. Joining a franchise and running a branch of someone else's business can be a great step through the entrepreneurial door without the hassle and stress of starting at the very beginning.
However, full-time franchising can be a lot of work and take a lot of time, which is why more franchisees are signing on with parent companies offering part-time franchising opportunities. Two companies that currently offer part-time franchise opportunities are ABC Do-Re-ME!, a music education program for children, and Maui Wowi, a company that sells Hawaiian coffees and healthy fruit smoothies. Ellie Greenberg, who founded ABC Do-Re-ME! in 2009, began franchising her company to give mothers like herself the opportunity to make extra money while still having plenty of time to spend with their children. [Looking for a more affordable franchise? Here are some you can own for less than $100,000.]
Maui Wowi has been offering franchise opportunities for 20 of the 35 years it has been in business, and currently has over 200 full- and part-time franchisees. Mike Weinberger, a former franchising attorney and CEO of Maui Wowi, said that many of the company's part-time franchisees begin with the goal of making their franchise a full-time job. Regardless of your schedule, it's important to remember that franchise ownership is a big commitment.
"Even if you're part-time, don't take it lightly," Weinberger advised. "Do your due diligence, and don't make any decisions until you've gotten all the information you can."
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- Franchising laws vary from state to state. Do your research, and make sure your chosen franchiser is in compliance with your home state's policies.
- Application and training processes are required for all franchisees — if you apply for a franchise, don't expect to be up and running tomorrow.
- While you will have a certain amount of flexibility, you are expected to follow the parent company's business model and retain a consistent brand image.
- Federal franchise regulations require the parent company to provide a disclosure document outlining its fees, investment, and bankruptcy and litigation history to the franchisee. This is as much to protect you as it is to protect the company: You have the right to know everything about the business you're joining.
Devan Kline, CEO and co-founder of boutique women's fitness franchise Burn Boot Camp, said that being a part-time franchisee isn't for everyone.
"If you're not historically great at multitasking or you lack leadership skills, I would strongly suggest keeping your focus to full-time franchise ownerships," Kline said. "If you're a mover and shaker with strong leadership skills, monumental belief systems, and the 'bring it on, I'll make it work' mentality, you may consider owning a franchise part time."
Kline told Business News Daily that the difference between a full-time and a part-time franchisee is really a difference between an operator and an owner, respectively.
"An operator… usually pours everything they have into this one store," Kline said. "You're operating the business and are very hands-on. This person usually has an extreme passion for the franchise system they're getting into."
An owner, on the other hand, doesn't need to be in the store every day because they have the capital to bring on staff and the ability to lead them to success. Kline noted that this person usually has multiunit aspirations and a proven track record of success.
"This is the only way a franchise is run [successfully] on a part-time basis," Kline added.
Kline suggested that potential franchisees should ask themselves who they want to be in order to help them decide between full-time and part-time franchising.
Visit Business News Daily's franchising guide for more information.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.