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Owner-Run vs. Semi-Absentee: What Every Franchisee Must Consider

One franchise industry with mostly owner-operated locations is food franchising, which lends itself well to the hands-on management style that some franchisees love. The commitment to week-in and week-out operation requires tenacity and some franchise industries usually require this kind of involvement.
Nonetheless, some industries work well for semi-absentee operators. Regardless of which business path works best for your lifestyle or personality, consider some of the key similarities and differences between the two operation techniques.

Owner-operated or semi-absentee, one thing is for certain: to manage any franchise well, franchisees must get their hands into each area of the business to best appreciate the workload that each individual carries. Responsibilities related to managing cash, managing customers, and managing cleanup may widely differ; franchisees that understand each area can expect to build an even healthier business.
Thus whether franchisees are present most of the time or absent most of the time, management of the location will go much more smoothly if franchisees take their investment personally and make a plan to get involved.

Semi-absentee operators must remember that their beloved business investment will primarily be managed by others. This places extra pressure on the area of staff development, which is certainly important with owner-operated ventures, though not nearly as critical to business success considering the number one person invested in the business will be present each day. Finding leaders who stand by their word to manage your location is critical if you plan to focus your attention elsewhere most of the time.
So though semi-absent operators may certainly love the concept their getting into, they must also love the process of hiring and managing a talented staff from afar, which requires less influence over daily operations. Owner-operators have more opportunity to exert a powerful influence over the daily operation of their business. This key difference is often enough to send some potential franchisees packing, particularly those who long for more hands-on involvement and authority. For these personality types, owner-operated is the way to go.

Another factor to consider is this: your passion and chosen franchise sector may not feature many options for semi-absentee involvement. This may be the case in some sectors that have long since been dominated by franchisors that look specifically for owner-operated management. This trend is changing as more and more sectors and brands boost their growth with investors seeking a less involved opportunity. Despite this change, owner-operated remains the preferred form of business for many due to its stable and transparent nature: you know who you’re working with and you know they’re dedicated to make their location a success first hand by contributing their most important asset—time.
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