The business owner’s dilemma – franchise vs startup

Franchise vs startup

The business owner’s dilemma – franchise vs startup

Starting your own business can be challenging; especially as there is more to it than simply registering your limited company and getting on with it. Alongside traditional business models, there are also franchise opportunities to consider. Each has its pros and cons. So whether you want to get your own business off the ground or make the decision to buy into an existing franchise model, this is what you need to know.

Brand awareness

Starting your own business can be tough, especially if you have little to no prior knowledge of how to run one. The upside is it can be rewarding and offers benefits that franchises might not, including freedom over the brand. Conversely, that is also a significant benefit of the franchise – it has a well-known brand built right in.

Brand awareness is no easy feat. It’s why franchises look so tantalising; you skip the hard part of building a following. Think about McDonald’s or Subway; they are instantly recognisable and trustworthy. This isn’t to say that an independent business won’t be the first thought of your customers or clients, but it’s clear that franchises can acquire awareness far easier. The downside is that the more recognisable the franchise, the higher the initial costs.


In turn, brand awareness makes marketing almost effortless. Colours, logos, slogans – they are already embedded into the brains of your customers. All it takes is the colour red and yellow together to immediately think of McDonald’s. Advertising is also done for you – franchises will run national campaigns that are displayed around the country.

Startups and independent businesses aren’t easily able to achieve this which can create more work for the marketing department. However, on the flip side of this is a pro for startups. There is a lot more room for innovation and your ideas. This freedom does not only apply to marketing but how you can run your business. Franchises, on the other hand, have more rules to follow, tighter brand guidelines, and possibly less room for individual creativity and expression.


Although startups have more freedom afforded to them, this comes with the downside of navigating the business world on your own. That means everything from the finances to the marketing to operations responsibility lies with you. Even with an accounting or marketing team, it can be tough especially if you cannot finance taking on new employees yet. The benefit of franchises typically means that this is taken care of which in turn provides you with a more robust safety net so to speak.

There are several pros and cons to each type of business model but there is no winner or loser. If you want to get started in business, you should opt for the model that you feel more comfortable with. If you enjoy building something from the ground up or would prefer investing in a franchise that offers more stability, it’s up to you and what best fits your goals.

Whether you opt to build a startup or invest in a franchise, at Big Hand Group we can take on some of the responsibilities for you. With our specialist services, we offer guidance for different needs. Contact us today on 01613 272 911 to speak to one of our experts about how we can help you.

About the Author:

Since 2013, Sophie has been an integral part of the Big Hand team. As a social butterfly, Sophie is mostly responsible for introducing new clients to the company. If you’re an avid networking, you’re most likely to meet Sophie at local events. Alongside attracting new business, she also assists with account management, and she manages payroll on behalf of clients. For fun, Sophie loves to keep fit running or playing korfball with her team. She is also in the middle of learning a new language and so her most recent challenge is attempting to read Harry Potter in Dutch.