The promise of more freedom and greater work-life balance is one of the most compelling reasons why entrepreneurs are drawn to franchise ownership. However, some opportunities offer the franchisee more freedom than others. Specifically, semi-absentee franchise ownership—in which the business is primarily run by a manager with minimal involvement from the owner—are ideal for individuals seeking to reap the benefits of an additional income stream without having to devote dozens of hours per week to the day-to-day operations of their business. While semi-absentee franchise ownership may offer the “best of both worlds” for many entrepreneurs, taking certain steps when buying the business and managing the franchise manager will help to ensure success.
Is semi-absentee franchise ownership right for you?
When buying any business, it is crucial to consider factors like your individual goals, personality, strengths and weaknesses, and lifestyle in order to determine which type of business is the right fit for you. Semi-absentee franchise ownership is a popular option for retirees seeking additional income and a minimal time commitment, as well as for people who wish to maintain a full-time job while building a lucrative business in their spare time. Since semi-absentee franchises allow their owners to focus on growing the business rather than working in it, they are also well-suited for entrepreneurs who aspire to own multiple units.
However, semi-absentee franchise ownership may not be right for everyone. By definition, they require the owner to cede a significant amount of power to the franchise manager, so they are not the best option for people who like to control how all aspects of their businesses are run. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable with leadership, managing teams, and delegating duties are most likely to succeed in owning a semi-absentee franchise. Additionally, many semi-absentee franchises require a higher initial investment as well as the costs of paying a manager, so they tend to be more appropriate for people who have accumulated net worth and/or additional income streams.
In addition to reviewing your personal characteristics, it is important to ensure that the franchise opportunities in which you are considering investing are suitable for semi-absentee franchise ownership. Some franchises are designed specifically for this type of ownership model and have systems in place to support owners in team building, management, and more. The best way to ensure that you find the right opportunity is to work with an experienced franchise consultant and be clear about your needs, goals, and expectations.
Once you have made the decision to purchase a semi-absentee franchise, hiring a strong team and implementing effective management techniques will help guide your business to profitability and lasting success. Here are a few best practices to follow as a semi-absentee franchise owner:
- Hire carefully. Since a manager will be handling the day-to-day operations of your business, choosing the right person for this role is arguably the most important step in ensuring success for your semi-absentee franchise. Ideally, this individual will treat the business as if it is their own and commit themselves to execute your goals and vision. As you screen candidates, seek out those who demonstrate qualities like honesty, dedication, dependability, a strong propensity for teamwork, and a willingness to learn and expand their skill sets.
- Devote time early on to gaining a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the business. While most semi-absentee franchise owners only spend approximately 10 to 20 hours per week on their businesses once they are up and running, a far greater time commitment is required when launching the business and setting it on the path to profitability. At this stage, it is essential to learn as much as possible about how the business will be run—from inventory and building maintenance to cash flow and customer relations. This will enable you to gauge success and identify potential problems once you relinquish control to the manager.
- Ensure that the manager and employees receive proper training. One of the main advantages of franchising is the support that franchisees receive from the parent company—including ample training opportunities for themselves and their employees. Urge the people who will be running your business to take advantage of these opportunities when they are first hired, as well as on an ongoing basis in order to keep their skills sharp as the business grows.
- Maintain open lines of communication. To succeed, your manager and employees need to clearly know what is expected of them—and when they are falling short. In order to support them, provide frequent feedback on where they are excelling and how they can improve, and help them set short and long-term goals for the business. Strive to hold weekly, in-person meetings with the manager, during which you review progress on goals, offer guidance, and listen to any concerns they may have.
- Use technology to monitor your business. While having a trustworthy manager is one of the keys to success for semi-absentee franchise owners, it is also crucial to have systems in place that allow you to track activities and key business metrics while you are away. For example, install video cameras at your business and use software programs for employee time tracking, financial reporting and auditing, and more. Your franchise parent company may have preferred software programs or apps to help you monitor these important business activities.
With some careful consideration and the use of proper management techniques, semi-absentee franchise ownership offers a lucrative business opportunity that will allow you to pursue other interests or income streams. Wondering if semi-absentee franchise ownership is right for you? With thousands of different franchise opportunities available in a variety of industries, Franchise Logic can help you find the best one for your needs and goals. Contact us today at 303.805.5078 or schedule a free, no-obligation franchise consultation!
(Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/03/09/tips-from-a-franchise-coach-how-to-capitalize-on-semi-absentee-business-models/2/#7d06065f2af8, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310445, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/business-ownership-on-the-side-franchisees-keeping-their-day-jobs/2012/06/27/gJQAiHuS7V_story.html?utm_term=.9d3630a4fecd).