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The Semi-Absentee Franchise Owner: Myth or Reality

When owning a franchise doesn't need to come at the cost of your current job

Author: Vasilis Georgiou CBI, M&AMI, CBB, MBA, CIRM

Organization: President, CrossRoads Business Brokers, Inc.

About the Author:

Mr. Georgiou is currently the President of CrossRoads Business Brokers, Inc. &, and has been involved in a great number of business transactions over the last 10 years. He is also a national Franchise Consultant with FranChoice advising hundreds of franchise Candidates in their search for a franchise. Since 2008, he has been a successful multi-unit owner/operator of a Home Care Franchise in California. Previously, Mr. Georgiou was a former Senior Manager with KPMG Consulting (BearingPoint) where he advised and assisted various Mid-Market companies with operations, strategy, and systems.

Date Published: 03/03/2014

Leaving behind the relative certainty of a corporate job that offers income security, health benefits, and 401K matching contributions is a very hard decision. There is real risk in putting your livelihood on the line. But what if there is a way to do both? What if there was a way to pursue your entrepreneurial dream of building a business as an asset that you control, while maintaining your current cash flow via a job.

The answer lies in the franchise business model. In the article "Buying a Franchise: It's all about you" I wrote on 1/17/14 on, I identified various business categories and their characteristics. More so than the other business categories, two particular business categories lend themselves to a semi-absentee approach: Retail and Sophisticated Retail. The categories are summarized again below:

*Simple Retail
-Totally reactive
-Behind a counter
-Lesser skilled/lower paid employees
-Small strip center
-Limited sales
-Scale via multi-unit
-Examples: food, fitness

*Sophisticated Retail-Proactive marketing/referrals
-More skilled/higher paid employees
-Large shopping center
-Expertise key to sales
-Inventory/staff management
-Scale via multi-unit
-Examples: sign shop, print shop, auto repair

Within those two categories a savvy prospective franchise owner can find various franchises in certain industries that a semi-absentee approach can make sense. Below are some business models within select industries that meet those criteria. This is by no means a complete list but rather a sample list to illustrate the point:

Retail - Food Industry
Self-serve yogurt franchises, fast food, beauty salons, salon suites

Retail Fitness
Children self defense, women-centric fast paced cardio

Sophisticated Retail Wellness
Senior centric medical devices, therapeutic massage centers

Sophisticated Retail Education
Learning centers, tutoring services

Sophisticated Retail Automotive
Automotive repair, collision repair

Going semi-absentee of course means a higher investment by hiring a management type employee who can be the day to day supervisor. It makes a lot of sense expanding your vision by going bigger via a multi-unit investment where you can spread the supervisory cost over multiple locations generating multiple streams of income.