Franchise Opportunities Vs Business Opportunities: Pros and Cons

Congratulations!

So you’ve decided to be your own boss rather than work for someone else the rest of your life. Good for you! Many decisions will crop up before you make that first deposit or paste that first dollar bill on the wall next to your cash register. Choosing what sort of business you wish to operate is tops on the list – retail versus wholesale and service-related versus product-oriented – as well as the specific industry you plan to enter or the type of work you hope to do. But selecting between two major categories of self-employment is awfully high on that list – buying a business opportunity as opposed to a franchise opportunity.

What is a Franchise?

Many U.S. companies, especially those in the retail sector, provide goods and services through franchisees. If it’s a national brand, chances are good the owner of that particular establishment has purchased the right to operate it from the parent company. Fast-food restaurants are one major category, but the concept extends to everything from car repair shops and daycare centers to mobile veterinary clinics and home cleaning services. By paying an up-front fee, plus perhaps a percentage of your monthly gross revenue for ongoing licensure, you have the opportunity to become an independent operator with the full backing of a major corporation.

What is a Business Opportunity?

A business opportunity is far less structured than its franchise equivalent. You are given basic information about an industry and how to operate within it, but you’re under no obligation to promote a particular brand or to do business in a particular or controlled manner.

Franchise Opportunity Benefits

By purchasing a franchise, you gain immediate name recognition and credibility. No one questions the fact that Dairy Queen is a great place to buy soft-serve ice cream treats. Because the parent company is invested in making your business a success – they can’t collect that monthly payment or use you as a reference for new franchisees if you’re out of business – they provide both initial and ongoing training, regional or national ad campaigns, and well-tested business methods that are guaranteed to work. If the business requires a storefront, the company will usually help you find a good spot with lots of traffic, and perhaps even offer some sort of financing arrangement. Does the business require specific supplies or inventory? You will probably be offered significant discounts, since buying in bulk across the enterprise usually leads to lower prices for all.

The Downside to Franchise Opportunities

A legitimate franchisor will not allow you to buy into their system unless you pass a rigorous review process, which usually includes a careful analysis of your finances, your business experience, and your willingness to accept all their rules and regulations without question. Most franchise fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, plus you will have to spend additional money for equipment, supplies, and a location from which to operate – unless you are involved in a mobile business (which still probably requires a dedicated vehicle or two) or one you work from home. Some of your earnings every month will go toward a license fee, payable to the home office, and you may also be required to share some marketing expenses.

Business Opportunity Benefits

You will generally spend less money to acquire a business opportunity than you would a franchise opportunity. By definition alone, there is no upfront franchise fee, plus you usually keep all of your revenue rather than paying ongoing franchise or royalty fees. You are free to choose any business name you like, and even branch out into other areas as you see a need in the community. For example, if you purchased a hamburger fast-food franchise, you could only serve the items on the “approved” list. By buying a business opportunity, if you liked pies – well, you could sell whatever kind of pie you wished. You are also able to operate pretty much anywhere without fear of stepping on someone else’s toes. Franchises can have some very strict territorial guidelines.

The Downside to Business Opportunities

The acquisition of a business opportunity rarely gives you the option to use trademarks, brand names, or other elements readily identifiable to the buying public. The freedom you have to do things your own way also means your chances of success rest entirely in your ability to run a business. There is no home office support, no massive buying power for equipment, inventory or supplies, and no other business owners to consult when you’re faced with an issue that needs to be resolved. In a very real sense, you are on your own.

The Bottom Line

In many respects, deciding between a franchise and a business opportunity comes down to two main factors – how much money you have to spend, and what kind of a personality you possess. Rule-followers can become great franchisees, while people who like to go off in their own direction – maybe not so much. Be sure to weigh all the factors before you decide which is best for you.

Home Business Opportunities – Four Home Based Business Opportunities To Choose From

Home business opportunities are virtually everywhere you look online. And the promoters of each home based business opportunity often claim that the opportunity they promote is the best business opportunity to join. This often makes it difficult for newbies to make the right choice, the choice that best suit their situation. This article takes a look at the four broad categories of home business opportunities so you can identify the option that suit your circumstances and therefore make informed choice.

The four broad categories of home based business opportunities are:

1. Opportunities that involve building an information rich web site from scratch and thereafter monetizing the resulting traffic

2. Opportunities that involve joining affiliate programs that offer unique affiliate links for promoting the affiliate product or service

3. Opportunities that involve joining a network marketing home based business opportunity that offer free distributor web site to members and

4. Opportunities that involve getting paid a fixed amount for completing a set of tasks online

Let’s take a closer look at each option above.

The first online business opportunity involves building your dream online business from scratch.

The right process requires you to do the following:

  • identify your passion
  • brainstorm topics that fall within your passion or interest using appropriate brainstorming software
  • identify a profitable niche that matches your passion or interest
  • Assemble low competition keywords that define your niche
  • Draw up a site blueprint
  • Design your web site
  • Write content for your web site using the low competition keywords brainstormed earlier
  • Promote your web site massively online
  • Add income generating streams to your web site
  • Cash your money month after month

If you conclude that the above process is tedious and time consuming, you’re probably right.

But why?

It’s because it’s business… it’s online business. And online business takes time, effort, and creativity just like offline does.

The second home business opportunity mentioned above is affiliate program marketing. With this type of online business, you join the affiliate program of your choice and promote the affiliate links you’re given using a blend of online marketing techniques. Some online marketing techniques will produce more results than others. So, you need to track your sales promotion efforts or campaigns to determine what works and what doesn’t for the specific affiliate program you promote. Then drop campaigns that don’t work and do more of what works.

The third category of home based business opportunities are MLM home business opportunities that offer members free distributor web sites to promote the MLM business opportunity. As with the affiliate program model, members of this type of MLM business opportunity promote their member web site url and register new team members using the tools on the member site they were given.

The fourth online business opportunity involves completing a set of tasks in expectation of being paid a pre-determined amount.

This kind of opportunities include:

  • paid to write
  • paid to attend to customers (online customer service jobs)

… and other such online job opportunities.

WARNING: Verify that the internet job opportunity you’re interested in is legitimate before you join!

Each of the home business opportunities described above have their pros and cons.

Option 1 above requires you to do a lot of work without immediate reward. With this type of online business, you’re basically writing an online book or journal. And you don’t get paid for writing a book until it’s finished and it starts selling, right?

In simple words, this option is a long-term business where you build traffic or your own customer base through content writing and marketing. This is a tedious but rewarding way to build a long-term business. With this type of home based business you own your traffic or customer base. And when you own your traffic, you own your business.

Option 2 is affiliate program marketing. This system involves selling a product or service by finding a market for it. Depending on where you advertise or promote the affiliate programs, you can begin to make money right away.

Here’s one thing to remember though.

Not everyone makes money from promoting affiliate program products despite spending a lot of money in advertising.

Why?

It’s because affiliate program marketing success requires a set of skills. To succeed, you need to learn the skill-set that guarantees success. Option 3 is much like option 2. You get paid for promoting a network marketing opportunity.

However, unlike most affiliate program opportunities that are free to join, virtually every network marketing home based business opportunity require members to join with a registration fee. Besides the registration fee, members must buy at least one pack of the MLM product they promote every month to stay active and qualify to earn commissions (at least in most programs). This means there is a maintenance cost for most MLM business opportunities.

Option 4 is the most direct form of online business. You get paid to complete a set of assignments. The problem with this is that it’s like having a day job… when you stop working, you stop earning. Whereas with the other kinds of home business opportunities discussed above, you can build your business to a point where what you earn far outweigh the efforts you put in. And you can put your business on auto pilot.

What home business option is right for you right now?

It depends on your current circumstances. In my candid opinion, the overall best option is one that allows you to build a long-term business and put your business on auto pilot down the road.

I’m talking passive income!

Bottom line.

It’s your life. Choose how you want to live it.

Choose the opportunity that works for you.

Types of Business Ownership Structures

A business ownership should be structured according to the needs of the owners and potentially liability that the business could incur. The different types of business ownership are

Sole proprietorship

Partnership

Limited Liability Corporation

Corporation (for profit)

Nonprofit corporation

Limited Partnerships

This type of business organization is costly and complicated to prepare. It is not recommended for the average small business owner. Limited partnerships are usually created by one person or company who solicits investments from others. The people who invest are considered the limited partners. The general partner is in charge of the business’s everyday operations. They are personally liable for business dents. Limited partners have little control over daily business decisions or operations. Because of this they are not personally liable for business debts or claims.

A Corporation

The most significant benefit to forming a corporation is that it limits the owners’ personal liability for business dents and any court judgments against the business. A corporation is an independent legal and tax entity. This sets it apart from other types of businesses. The owners do not use their personal tax returns to pay tax on corporate profits because the corporation itself pays these taxes. Any money drawn from the corporation in the form of salaries, bonuses, etc is paid by the owners in their personal income tax returns.

Limited Liability Corporations

Limited Liability Corporations provide their owners just that, limited personal liability for business debts and claims. However, LLCs resemble partnerships when it comes to taxes. The owners of an LLC pay taxes on their shares of the business income on their personal tax returns. This type of organization is good for business owners who either

Could be sued by customers

Run the risk of piling up a lot of debt

Have substantial personal assets they want to protect

Sole Proprietorship and Partnership

A sole proprietorship, or partnership, is the ideal ownership structure for an up and coming business or the average small business. They do not have to be registered with the state and go into effect as soon as one person goes into business with themselves or two or more people go into business together. Any business income is reported on the owner’s personal income taxes. They are also personally liable for any business debts or court decisions against the business.

 

Emerging Technology Trends and Business Opportunities for Solution/Service Providers

The business landscape is changing due to rapid technology changes. Innovation, technology and product life cycles are getting shortened; business use cases and application scenarios are changing swiftly due to globalization and technology integration. Organizations need to be flexible to quickly adapt to these emerging trends and be nimble to respond to changing market dynamics.

Emerging technology trends such as Software Defined everything, Object Storage, Flash, Cloud, Converged Infrastructure, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Internet of Things, Big Data analytics etc. are becoming more and more relevant with the emergence of multiple data streams. These innovative trends are transformational and are likely to shape the future.

Trends and Opportunities:

1. Software defined everything

Software defined everything will result in true interoperability standards, forcing individual technology suppliers to abandon working in silos with proprietary standards. Service providers can only offer value if they have the capability to offer all the constituents of computing, storage and network.

Some of the opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Software Defined Storage (SDS)
• Supporting software defined storage applications from leading storage vendors
• Support these SDS products to extend them to other platforms and make them feature rich, enable integration with other ecosystems etc.
• Building test strategy, tools and frameworks and various types of testing opportunities
• Software Defined Networking (SDN)
• Network orchestration and automation, manage and implement SDN in enterprise data center
• Professional services such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) implementation consulting or SDN and NFV testing for telecom vendors

2. Flash

Flash technology will definitely show an uptick in the 3-5 year horizon. One has to stay invested in terms of money, time. There may not be much of immediate progress in Flash adoption by enterprises due to the prohibitive cost, stable legacy set up, evolving enterprise features. Hence, most enterprises are still in the experimental phase, but there are lots of business opportunities.

The below trends represent some of the opportunities for solution/service providers:

• Most flash players are start-ups and would like to keep core work in-house and outsource peripheral activities
• Immense product engineering opportunities will lie with the big industry players in the form of testing wherein they plan to move products from existing legacy to all flash based platforms
• Flash storage OEMs are consuming PCIe based cards, AHCI and NVMe interface and most of these solutions are targeted towards cloud service providers

3. Object storage

Enterprises are inspired by the Internet companies’ adoption of object storage. Demand for object storage is driven by big data challenges of storing and analyzing a huge amount of data to provide value to the business.

Factors driving growth of object storage

• amassed unstructured data
• ease of accessibility via HTTP and SMTP protocols and REST APIs
• growing trend of organizations building their private or hybrid clouds
• software-defined storage (SDS) approach

Some of the opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Ongoing integration of newer versions of OpenStack swift with existing storage products
• Mergers and acquisitions happening in the object storage industry, which will result into new product acquisitions by large storage vendors. This opens up product integration opportunities for service providers

4. OpenStack

OpenStack is moving beyond the early adoption as more and more enterprises and service providers are moving towards its adoption. Telecom space will drive growth for OpenStack. Openstack is the main driver for NFV thus helping it to become a reality.

Some opportunities for solution/service providers include:

• Provide storage vendors to enable their storage for OpenStack
• Help enterprises setup their OpenStack cloud, offer professional services
• Large storage vendors are building platforms with OpenStack using proprietary underlying infrastructure. It opens up integration and automation opportunities

5. Server SAN

Server SAN is poised to disrupt traditional storage architectures over the next decade. It involves sharing and distributing storage across multiple nodes. It is an architecture that turns multiple direct-attached storage (DAS) devices into a pool of shared resources via a high-speed interconnection such as InfiniBand or Low-latency Ethernet.

Some of the Server SAN solutions include EMC ScaleIO, VMware’s VSAN, and Quantum StorNext. One needs to follow this trend and see which of the existing solution gains momentum and is likely to emerge as a front runner.

6. BYOD

Businesses are implementing BYOD to save costs on software and hardware or to address the expectations of their mobile workforce. Provisioning of all of these devices is a Herculean task.

Some of the opportunities for solution and service providers include:

• Solution accelerators and automation frameworks in area of desktop virtualization, image management, Content collaboration and Bring Your Own PC solutions
• In mobile cloud era, the user is increasingly beginning to rely on endpoints, devices with very limited processing power, smaller screens, maybe no keyboard which makes manageability an area to explore.

7. Hyper/Converged Infrastructure

Massive improvements in processing power are driving converged infrastructure trend and reason for quicker adoption of it by data centers. All major infrastructure providers are moving towards the converged space. Many industry players are competing for significant market share in converged infrastructure space to uproot legacy installed base or protect own share of the market pie. It includes majors such as HP, EMC, IBM, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel, VMware, VCE and start-ups like Scale Computing, SimpliVity and Nutanix.

There are two trends emerging:

• Hyper-converged Infrastructure – One vendor builds an entire infrastructure by taking all the various pieces that make up a traditional infrastructure in the market today and put it in a box. It is entirely seamless.

• Converged infrastructure – Vendor takes the fundamental pieces of storage, network, compute and server virtualization, possibly from different companies, perhaps put a management layer on top of it to make the deployment and the management of those pieces easier and make them operate as a whole.

Opportunities for solution/service providers are in the area of consulting, design, implementation, and management services related to private and hybrid cloud deployments.

8. Internet of Things (IoT)

Other related terms for IoT used by industry giants are Industrial Internet by GE, Internet of Everything (IoE) by Cisco, and Smart Planet by IBM.

IoT is being driven by a huge increase in data volumes collected from various types of sensors deployed by business, and business benefits provided by the analysis of sensor data.

9. Big Data Analytics

There will be competition to develop optimized cloud platforms which can leverage real-time data streams and/or massive data as enterprises look for varied data sources as well as applications that help them to get insightful information about the markets, customers, and products.

Opportunity for solution/service providers to offer Big Data implementation and analytics outsourcing services is huge. Some of the opportunities include:

• Professional services related to big data like data migration among platforms, maintenance etc.
• Opportunities such as Big Data technology implementation, including data collection, integration and designing of Big Data architecture etc.
• Log and sensor analytics are also gaining traction as very insightful information can be drawn using them. It opens up opportunity for data science specialists.

10. Cloud Computing

Cloud promises a growth on every front be it IaaS, SaaS, PaaS or customized security.

Businesses are adopting a cloud-based infrastructure due to the upsurge of Hybrid cloud architectures which include an amalgamation of private and public clouds

Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions allows businesses to lower IT costs. It speeds up application development through more efficient testing and deployment.

Security policies need renewed attention with cloud-based applications are growing and taking over businesses. Hence there is increased demand for security solutions to bring new exemplars of security to the cloud.

Some of the opportunity areas for solution/service providers can be:

• PaaS enablement services, application re-engineering and migration services, assessment, advisory services etc.
• Consulting services requiring strategic direction and guidance in a broad range of areas which will help organizations to migrate critical systems and infrastructure to the cloud

The pace at which technology is driving the change is phenomenal. It is inspiring new business strategies across industries. Organizations are embracing technology to draw meaningful insights from their operations and leveraging it to explore growth and revenue opportunities.

The trend is turning into a demanding environment where companies are seeking more returns from their technology investments. This represents a unique opportunity for solution/service providers wherein they can help companies maximize their return on investment through their offerings.

In summary, solution/service providers must adapt to these emerging technologies and quickly grab immense business opportunities emerging out of it.