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9 Reasons to Join a Smaller Franchise

By Jeff Bevis

When buying a franchise, there are countless decisions to make. One of the most important choices you have is what size franchise you want to join. Franchises can range from the enormous and world-recognized — McDonald’s, Subway, or Marriott — to the small and local. Both have their benefits, but many new franchise owners overlook the possibilities a small franchise could offer them.

Discover some of the benefits of joining a smaller franchise that you may not have considered.

What Is Considered a Small Franchise?

A smaller franchise is one that has fewer than 100 locations around the US. Caring Senior Service would be a senior home care franchise that fits into this category. A small franchise is also not necessarily a new, emerging franchise. A smaller franchise could have deep history and a proven business model, unlike an emerging franchise that is still developing.

Smaller Franchise vs. Larger Franchise

1. Cost of Entry Is Usually Lower

Every franchise has a different initial investment level. Generally, the more recognizable the brand, the higher the initial fee you are going to pay. Some larger franchises have spent decades building up their reputation. Therefore, they can charge a premium franchising fee and royalty fees for new locations.

On the other hand, smaller franchise opportunities usually have a smaller price tag at the outset. This can make a smaller franchise business more accessible to individuals with limited capital or who are new to the world of franchising.

RELATED CONTENT: Why Are Some Franchises More Expensive Than Others?

2. You Get to Help Build the Brand

A strong reputation can come along with a established brand name. A smaller franchise brand likely lacks the widespread, nationwide recognition. As a result, franchise owners get to have more control over how the company viewed by their customer base. They can help build the brand in their local communities and across the country.

3. Your Voice Is Heard

When you are one of a few franchise owners instead of thousands, your opinions and input have a lot more weight. A smaller franchise often works harder to ensure a good reputation of treating its franchise owners well. Executives will want to know what they can do to make franchise ownership a better experience for future owners. This level of attention from the franchise headquarters can spread across the franchising process, from sales to final purchase and beyond. 

4. You Can Get a Great Location

The bigger a franchise, the more locations they already have. That means that there are fewer territories are available for new owners. Smaller franchises, by their nature, have more available territories. Joining a smaller franchise means that you are more likely to get the territory that you are interested in.

5. Getting Approved Can Be Easier

Many large franchise systems place a high priority on selling to those owners who already have units. They also tend to be extremely selective when choosing new franchisees, because they have a huge pool of candidates. No matter what your financial situation, it can simply be more difficult to purchase a new franchise from a larger franchise.

With less competition for smaller franchise opportunities, a smaller franchise can be a great choice for new owners. Plus, they will likely have ample opportunity for you to grow your business down the line.

6. Stronger Sense of Community

Smaller franchises often foster a closer-knit community among franchisees and franchisors, leading to a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. Often, franchise owners will all be able to meet each other and get to know one another at conferences. However, in large franchise communities, this can be nearly impossible. And large franchises experience more turnover as a result of having so many units.

This franchisee community, however, can be extremely valuable. Franchise owners often brainstorm together to overcome struggles of day-to-day operations. Business owners can offer support to and even mentor new franchise owners.

RELATED CONTENT: Benefits of a Franchisee Support Network

7. There Are Opportunities for Leadership Roles

Many franchise systems set up councils or boards that are run by franchisees to receive input and guide the organization. In a larger system, opportunities to join these groups can be sparse — let alone a chance to lead one.

As a franchisee in a smaller system, you may have a much better chance of being part of these groups. You may also have ore opportunities to take on leadership roles or be involved in important decision-making processes within the franchise network.

8. There Is More Innovation

Small businesses tend to be more nimble than larger ones. So, smaller franchises may be more open to experimenting with new products, services, and business strategies. This could allow you to be more innovative and adaptive in response to changing market trends.

9. There May Be More Flexibility

Because large franchise systems are so big, they have to be streamlined and fairly rigid in their operations. So, franchise owners may feel like they are part of a corporate organization over time. But in a small franchise, there is often more room for flexibility and creativity in business operations and marketing activities.

Every franchise system will be different. But we highly encourage you not to overlook small franchise systems. We would love to share more with you about our small home care franchise. Reach out to our team today.

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Tags: Franchise Ownership