A franchise owner contracts with a company to sell that company’s products or services. After paying an initial fee and agreeing to pay the company a certain percentage of revenue, the franchise owner can use the company’s name, logo, and guidance. McDonald’s, Subway, and KFC are some of the top franchised companies that have locations all across the country. Franchises, however, are not limited to the fast food industry. Today, franchises are available in a wide variety of business areas including computer service, lawn care, real estate, and even hair salons. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), franchises account for nearly 50 percent of all retail sales in the United States and these sales total more than $1.5 trillion a year.
Franchise Owners Job Description
Today, industry experts report that franchises are responsible for nearly 50 percent of all retail sales in the United States, and this figure is expected to grow through the 21st century. Franchisers (those companies that sell franchise businesses) and franchisees (those who buy the businesses) are sharing in the more than $1.5 trillion a year that franchise businesses take in. While everyone probably has a favorite business or two—maybe the neighborhood Krispy Kreme with its fresh crullers or the 7- 11 down the street with its gallon- sized sodas—not everyone may realize that these are franchised establishments. For those interested in starting their own businesses, becoming franchisees may offer just the right mix of risk and security. Any new business venture comes with a certain amount of risk, but franchises offer the new owners the security of a name and product that customers are used to and are willing to seek out. Someone with money to invest, the willingness to work hard and sometimes long hours, and the desire to operate a retail business may be able to become the successful franchisee, sharing in the franchiser’s success.
There’s a franchise for practically every type of product and service imaginable. In addition to the familiar McDonald’s and Burger King, other franchise operations exist: businesses that offer temporary employment services, maid services, weight control centers, and custom picture framing, to name a few. The IFA, in fact, reports that there are approximately 75 different industries that make use of the franchise system. No matter what business a person is interested in, there are probably franchise opportunities available.
Depending on the size and nature of the franchise, owners’ responsibilities will differ. Those who are able to make a large initial investment may also be able to hire managers and staff members to assist them. Those running a smaller business will need to handle most, if not all, of the job responsibilities themselves. Though there should be assistance from the franchiser in terms of training, marketing guidance, and established business systems, the business is essentially the franchisee’s own. The franchisee has paid an initial franchise fee, makes royalty payments to the franchiser, purchased equipment, and rented business space. Any franchisee must handle administrative details, such as record-keeping, creating budgets, and preparing reports for the franchiser. A franchisee is also responsible for hiring (and firing) employees, scheduling work hours, preparing payroll, and keeping track of inventory. Using the franchiser’s marketing methods, the franchisee advertises the business. The practices and systems of franchisers differ, so those interested in this work need to carefully research the franchise before buying into it.
Some owners work directly with the clientele. Of course, someone who owns multiple units of the McDonald’s franchise probably won’t be taking orders at the counter; but someone who owns a single unit of a smaller operation, like a pool maintenance service, may be actively involved in the work at hand, in dealing with the customers, and in finding new customers.
Donna Weber of Redmond, Washington, owns a Jazzercise franchise. Jazzercise is the world’s largest dance fitness franchise corporation, with more than 6,300 instructors leading 20,000 classes weekly. “I own and teach seven Jazzercise classes a week in two suburbs around the Seattle area,” Weber says. After investing with an initial low franchise fee, Weber went through considerable training and testing; the training involves instruction on exercise physiology, dance/exercise technique, and safety issues, as well as instruction on the business aspect of owning a franchise. After training, Weber received certification and started her business. She pays a monthly fee to Jazzercise and in return receives choreography notes to new songs and videos demonstrating the exercises.
In addition to conducting classes, Weber spends some part of every workday preparing paperwork for the corporate headquarters. “I keep track of my students’ attendance and write personal postcards to those I haven’t seen in a while, those who are having birthdays, those who need some personal recognition for a job well done, etc.,” says Weber, who must also regularly learn new routines. “I teach three different formats,” she says, “regular aerobics, step, and a circuit-training class each week, so there is a lot of prep to do a good, safe class.”
The franchisee’s experience will be affected by the name recognition of the business. If it’s a fairly new business, the franchisee may have to take on much of the responsibility of promoting it. If it is a well-established business, customers and clients already know what to expect from the operation.
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