Starting a franchise business or opening a new business from scratch can both be very fulfilling business ventures. Entrepreneurs who have decided to pursue business ownership and who are in the process of weighing their investment options often face a dilemma in choosing between options, and a thorough research process should be completed before any investment is finalized.
When in the research phase of starting a business, it’s important to understand what is involved in becoming a franchise owner with a particular brand or franchise system, versus the requirements of opening a new, non-franchised business of your own. It’s also helpful to understand the benefits of franchising and how they could fit into your own unique experience.
If you’ve asked yourself, “What’s a franchise?” and wondered if franchising could be the right choice for your first (or next) business venture, read on to learn more about franchising, its benefits and some of the unique backgrounds of The UPS Store franchise owners.
In a franchise system, a franchisor establishes the brand’s identity and business plan. A franchisee then invests in the business, gaining access to the operational guidelines, support and much more to conduct business under the franchisor’s brand and system. Franchisees operate as an extension of the brand, and there are often strict rules and guidelines to follow under a franchise agreement, which is a legally binding document that dictates goods and services to be offered, suppliers to be used, and many more factors to ensure a consistent brand experience for customers no matter the location. The agreement also outlines the costs involved and outlines the responsibility and expectations of both parties.
Benefits of Franchising
One of the most important advantages of franchising is brand awareness. A powerful brand attracts customers to all its locations, not just one, which makes the brand an invaluable asset for both franchise owners and franchisors. Effective branding sets expectations in the minds of potential customers regarding the experience they can expect, and fosters loyalty which helps increase the value of the entire franchise system as well as demand for more locations.
Another major benefit of owning a franchise business is experience. Gaining access to an established operating system allows franchisees to eliminate some of the uncertainty that can arise with starting a business from scratch. When you become a franchisee, you’re investing in all the brand’s experience, including lessons learned along the way and improved processes as a result of conducting business. Brands like The UPS Store with over 40 years of franchising experience are uniquely poised to help franchisees build their own operations and continue to provide security for its owners.
When you franchise a business, collaboration within the franchise network is a built-in advantage. Owners gain access to other owners and are able to share their experiences and learnings. The UPS Store is dedicated to helping its owners grow and supports them every step of the way with corporate support and a network of collaborative owners who love to help and support each other. Franchising enables you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.
Comprehensive training is another significant benefit of franchising. When you open your doors, you want to feel confident that you’re ready to handle operations and any customer challenge that may arise; that’s why The UPS Store offers a comprehensive four-phase training program to give its owners the tools and training to prepare them thoroughly. With over 200 hours of web-based, in-store and university business course training, owners are ready to serve their communities from day one.
Tips for Buying a Franchise
When buying a franchise business, several considerations come into play. First, make sure you familiarize yourself with common franchise terms to help yourself make an educated and confident business decision. You’ll want to conduct a thorough research process, also known as due diligence, to investigate legal, financial and other aspects of the opportunity before investing. Due diligence is imperative to determine if the venture is worth pursuing.
Before buying a franchise, make sure to speak with the franchise development team and other franchisees within the network to gauge the sentiment within the system. If there are information sessions or webinars to learn more about the franchise opportunity, take advantage of those to learn all you can about the brand and business.
You’ll also want to ensure the brand you’re considering aligns with your personal and professional goals. Consider not only the financial aspects like profitability, but also the brand’s values. Starting the business relationship with aligned values can help franchisees focus on their operations while feeling confident in their investment and future.
Some franchisors offer special incentives for certain types of entrepreneurs, like women, minorities and veterans, which is another reason why thorough research is crucial before becoming a franchise owner.
Franchise Owners are Unique at The UPS Store
While all retail owners with The UPS Store share a passion for helping small business owners and their communities, their backgrounds and journeys to becoming entrepreneurs vary greatly. Their unique experiences add to the vast collective experience of The UPS Store network and continue to build relationships and loyalty among their customers.
Franchisee Maya Warrier worked as an attorney and practiced family law on her own before deciding to buy her The UPS Store location. Another franchisee Leanne Dobard Alvarez started her career with a beverage manufacturer and worked in medical-surgical instrument sales before becoming intrigued by a franchise opportunity with The UPS Store.
Other franchisees like Michael Phillips have served our country with impressive military accomplishments, going on to find a fulfilling second career in becoming a retail owner with The UPS Store. By joining a network that supports Veteran Entrepreneurship, Michael and other service members can enjoy great benefits like discounted franchise fees and the support of an established brand.
Tecumseh Peete started his career differently, beginning by unloading trailers for UPS and then progressing through the ranks and learning more about Black-owned businesses and career paths before eventually realizing his entrepreneurial spirit. He now finds joy in helping his customers daily and sets a great example for them by “being the change you want to see.”
Starting a business can be intimidating, but with the support of an established, well-known brand like The UPS Store, franchisees can build a future for themselves while supporting other small business owners. Learn more about the franchise opportunity with The UPS Store and contact our franchise development team to discuss the possibility of owning your own location.