Michael Plummer, Jr. is President/CEO/CTO of Our Town America, the nation’s premier New Mover Marketing franchise.
Is your corporate career stuck in a rut? Does your job fail to spark joy and offer satisfaction? As unemployment remains higher than pre-pandemic levels and job security remains uncertain, some Americans are taking time during the pandemic to reevaluate their future in the corporate world.
The outbreak of Covid-19 sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing. Front-line workers stepped up to ensure Americans stayed healthy, teachers adapted to online teaching, and businesses provided innovative services to stay afloat. As of July 2020, 24.5 million Americans were unemployed or otherwise out of work following the outbreak of the pandemic, the Economic Policy Institute reported. One in four workers have had difficulty paying their bills during the pandemic, according to August data from Pew Research Center. Over the summer, the economy was slowly bouncing back. The United States added 9.3 million jobs by July, MarketWatch reported.
Unfortunately, many Americans remain unemployed, which can contribute to high stress levels. More than 40% of Americans reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition related to the pandemic, according to a June survey by the Centers for Disease Control. The fear and anxiety surrounding the pandemic can be overwhelming.
However, Americans are resilient. Beyond the struggles of the pandemic, I believe we can conquer professional adversity by taking charge of our career trajectories. So, if you’re tired of racing in the corporate hamster wheel and want to take charge of your career, franchising may be the solution you’re looking for. As an added bonus, some industry experts are predicting that 2021 will be a banner year for franchising. Here’s why you may want to consider it:
Unlimited Earning Potential
With no salary cap in many models, franchising offers the opportunity to provide financial self-sufficiency for your family. Your paycheck generally reflects your effort; the amount is not dictated by a corporate employer. Many franchises allow you to start earning money quickly — some even on your very first sale.
Franchising has many opportunities with low startup costs. When most people contemplate franchising, they envision high-cost options, like a McDonald’s or a Planet Fitness. But franchising offers many different business models; mobile and work-from-home opportunities are understandably appealing during this unprecedented time. Franchise Business Review provides a list of the top low-cost franchise options available, including MaidPro, Soccer Shots, TSS Photography, and my company, Our Town America. Thanks to technology, some of these businesses can be run from the comfort of your home.
Opportunity For Growth
Franchising gives individuals the benefits of small business ownership with a big business network. Many new franchisees have no business experience or knowledge of the industry they choose prior to buying a franchise. Franchisees generally receive training and support and have the security of a proven business model to help guarantee success and limit risk.
Taking Your Life Back
One of the benefits of franchising is being your own boss. You set your own schedule and, with many models, are no longer forced to work the 9-to-5 grind. Having the flexibility to attend your kids’ sporting events, help with virtual school and sit down for a family dinner can do wonders for your stress levels and improve your quality of life. When unemployment is high, it may also be easier to hire dependable, qualified staff to help free up your schedule. Initially, the learning curve of opening a new business will take hard work and dedication, but the eventual payout of achieving work-life balance makes it worth the effort for many.
Finding the right franchise requires research. Many people make the mistake of choosing a franchise simply because they like the service it provides. You may love your dog, but opening a pet store might not be the right choice for you. Determine your goals and the financial investment you can make to put yourself on the right path to business ownership. To succeed at franchising, I recommend putting a few things down on paper to get started.
• What’s your budget? The first step is to determine your budget. A franchise requires an initial investment to get your business started. I’ve seen low-cost franchises that you can start for as little as $15,000, while fitness centers and fast-food restaurants can run close to $1 million.
• How many employees do you want? If you are interested in managing people, owning a business that requires a full staff might be for you. If you prefer flexibility and work-life balance, choosing a franchise with limited staff, such as a mobile franchise, is likely a better option.
• Would you prefer a storefront, or would you like to work from home? When people think of franchising, they usually envision a doughnut shop or a hair salon. They rarely consider low-cost options that they can run from a home office or mobile van. Mobile or at-home options typically require fewer employees, offer flexible schedules and do not require high rent payments.
• Know the market. Where are you operating your business? Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you will need to see if the territory is available.
• Talk to other franchisees. Make sure to conduct your due diligence by chatting with other franchisees. Getting their feedback will help you understand whether the company offers a culture that shares your values.
Take a break during your time at home weathering the pandemic to consider the benefits of leaving the corporate world through entrepreneurship.
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