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Franchising vs. Independent Ownership
Posted on Tuesday, January 15th 2019

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The entrepreneurial path is one full of freedom, adventure and hard work. Owning a small business can be a long-lasting, fulfilling career, but starting out can be challenging at times. There are two main ways to launch a small business – invest in a franchise or pursue independent ownership. This crucial decision can ultimately impact your long-term success, so it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between the business models.


One of the main reasons many businessmen and women choose to become small business owners is because they crave freedom – financially, professionally and even socially. As a small-business owner, you have control over your environment, employees and work hours. However, there are some differences when it comes to franchise versus independent ownership.

With independent ownership, you may have more freedom to try new products and business methods; however, with experimentation comes costly risks. When starting a new business, there is typically little room for error. One misstep could serve as a devastating setback to your new business.

Franchisees are able to enjoy the new adventure of business ownership but have the added benefit of many resources and support from their franchisor. Should trouble arise, a franchisee can reach out for advice and assistance from the franchisor or from fellow franchisees. Having access to that wealth of first-hand experience can be tremendously valuable. While you will have guidance for best practices, and must adhere to brand standards, the business is ultimately still in your hands. A strong, reputable franchise will be open to franchisee feedback and work with you to help your business blossom.


Independent owners have to dive into the world of business alone or with limited support. While friends and family members may be available to offer some advice, they are likely not knowledgeable in launching a new business. Having an expert on your side can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Support is another major difference between investing in a franchise or operating independently. A reputable franchise can help ease the inevitable stress that accompanies entrepreneurship. A franchisor can help new business owners successfully navigate challenges such as negotiating leases, connecting with reputable vendors, acquiring necessary permits, establishing training protocols and building a long-term business plan.


Finally, never underestimate the power of effective branding. Through franchising, your business comes with a built-in reputation – another important reason to choose your franchise wisely! A good brand reputation will draw customers in from the second you open your doors. Independent owners have to start from scratch and build their own brand slowly over time. This can make starting out far more difficult, as customers are often skeptical of unfamiliar brands.

Fish Window Cleaning has spent more than 40 years supporting franchisees and establishing an incredible reputation for quality window cleanings. Today, there are 275 FISH franchise locations across the country, living out their entrepreneurial dream. For more information on how you can enjoy a thrilling new career in franchising, visit