Dear Helaine,

I want out of the corporate life. But I can’t decide if buying a franchise is better than starting a business from scratch. What is your opinion? — Burned Out

Dear Burned Out,

The first question you should ask yourself is, “What’s my motivation (other than being sick of corporate life) to have my own business?” People usually arrive at business ownership from one of two places. Either, you have a passion or a great idea for a product — you’re an artist, or a consultant for example — and want to express your unique gift and make a living at it. Or, you’re interested in a successful business opportunity, and it’s more about finding the right opportunity that’s a good fit for you, than the product, per se.  

Once you decide which direction best suits you, then you can look at the pros and cons of each. Typically, the advantage of a franchise is it’s a turnkey operation. You’re buying someone else’s research, experience and proven results. If you start from scratch, you have to create the wheel from the bottom up. That said, when you start from the bottom up, you get to decide everything and create a business that’s a reflection of you. With a franchise, following established protocols IS what determines success, but can be limiting to your creativity.

In addition, franchises statistically have a higher success rate then start-ups, but, with start-ups, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. There’s no right answer to this question, do your homework and carefully consider what you want to accomplish.

Helaine Iris is a life and business coach with Path of Purpose Coaching. Do you have a vexing business problem? Email Helaine at helaine@pathofpurpose.com. Your name will be kept confidential.