Have you ever thought of opening your own business? O’Fallon is home to 1,300 businesses, approximately a thousand of which have storefronts.
The first step in building your business is to decide exactly what you want to do. Although this seems pretty obvious, many people know that they want to be entrepreneurs, but they don’t know exactly how they want to go about doing that.
The good news is that you’ve got plenty of options. This week, we’re discussing franchise opportunities, and next week, we’ll discuss original concepts you design yourself.
Considering Buying a Franchise?
As a franchisor, your business plan will already be determined, for the most part, and companies that offer franchising opportunities have generally been very successful, so they’ve got proven business formulas.
“There are hundreds of franchises here in O’Fallon,” said Patricia Brown, interim director of economic development for the City of O’Fallon. “These businesses vary in size from some of our most notable restaurants to one-person home-based businesses.”
One of the biggest benefits of buying a franchise or another existing business is name recognition, which can provide an instant customer base. For example, companies such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s and even Midas Mufflers have franchise opportunities available.
But Brown said the best way to choose a franchise is to do your research, and rather than choosing based only on name-recognition, you should do what you love and what you know.
“There are thousands of franchise opportunities out there,” she said. “If you’re serious about starting a franchise, make sure you research it thoroughly.”
She said that as a would-be franchise owner, you need to know almost as much about the business as someone who’s been doing it for 10 years before investing your own money.
“Find out everything you possibly can,” Brown said. “Talk to current franchisees, research competition, investigate every aspect of the business before you take the leap.”
Which franchise is right for you?
Brown said that while there aren’t any types of businesses that traditionally fail in the O’Fallon area, there are many variables to consider.
“Researching the industry, competition, location and other factors will determine if a certain type of business can succeed,” she said.
Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a franchise? There are hundreds of franchise opportunities that might work for you. Consider some of the following ideas:
- Cousins Subs, which has been in business since 1972, offers low investment and startup costs and a cash business with low recievables and little inventory. The company offers single and multi-unit development strategies (in case you want to open other locations in the area) and strong support systems for site selection, construction, training, marketing and opportunities, according to the Cousins Subs website. All you need to do to get started is to take a quick pre-qualification survey.
- If you want something that will make your heart smile as well as being profitable, the senior-care market might be for you. Consider franchising with companies such as Visiting Angels, which focuses on in-home healthcare for senior citizens, or Stay at Home, a company that does in-home non-medical care so that senior citizens can stay in their own homes instead of going to nursing facilities.
- If you’re into luxury, you might want to franchise with companies such as CruiseOne, which is one of the nation’s largest travel retailers, or Apricot Lane Boutique, which bills itself as “a truly unique fashion retails store.”
- If you’re more of a hands-on kind of person, you might want to try franchising with companies like FixRim, which does mobile wheel repair, or Fleet Services International, which would give you your own low-overhead, exclusive fleet services dealership and is associated with stock car racer Richard Petty.
- If you want to bring a whole new element to town, consider franchising with companies such as Gourmet Streets, which is a gourmet food truck franchise, or Fresh! Healthy Vending, another food truck franchise that focuses on healthy foods—a relatively underserved market in the O'Fallon area.
These are just a few of the hundreds of franchise opportunities that exist. Check out Franchise.com’s Franchise and Business Opportunity Directory for more ideas.
Brown noted that anyone who is interested in opening a business in O’Fallon should contact the city’s Economic Development department.
“We’re happy to help guide them through the process,” she said.
Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Subscribe to our daily newsletter so you won’t miss a single part of this ongoing series! Next week, we'll discuss ideas for coming up with an original business concept.
Do you own your own business in O’Fallon? We want to share your story with the community! Contact Patch reporter Angela Atkinson at email@example.com to arrange for an interview.