Buying a franchise is an excellent way for aspiring business people to hop into an established business and benefit from their business model and reputation. However, when many people consider getting into a franchise, they inadvertently think of the large “brick and mortar” reputable global businesses. Few give little thought to successful online franchises like the digital signage franchise and a range of other companies in the e-commerce sector that are slowly but surely gaining popularity during and after the 2020 pandemic. The pandemic made many people rethink their investment options. Many industries (especially those with the most person-to-person interaction) proved to be fragile and remote work has been one alternative area of focus.
Have you been toying around with investing in an online franchise but wondering if it’s a good business? The short answer is that online franchises, just like any other business, can be a very successful venture laden with growth opportunities and other unique advantages and challenges. Various technologies have come up that have led to flexible remote work arrangements, making it easier for people to enhance their work-life balance. However, you should note that online franchises differ depending on their business models. While some are fully-fledged online enterprises, others are a blend of both online and traditional brick-and-mortar operations.
Read on to learn some of the expected benefits and challenges that will arise with online franchises to help you make your decision.
Benefits of Running an Online Franchise
Just like any other type of franchise, online franchises are not the same and have various advantages depending on many factors unique to a particular business. That is why it’s crucial to do your homework well concerning a particular online franchise of interest and evaluate your skills and the time you can spare to run it. Take time to learn pertinent things about the parent company, including its financial and credit status. You can learn a lot by speaking with other franchisees in the business. Below are a few potential general benefits of owning an online franchise.
- There are Many Online Franchise Choices
If you’re looking to invest in an online franchise, you’ll have many options since quite a good share of businesses have transitioned online. Many franchisors have seen the economic and convenience benefits of doing away with traditional workspaces and online.
- Save on Costs
One of the most significant benefits of online franchises is their relatively low overhead costs due to reduced expenses compared to traditional franchises. With most online franchises, you’ll only need a website, and most of the expenses can be channeled into more pertinent areas such as marketing and advertising.
- They can be Operated 24/7
Online franchises often allow for a 24/7 operational online shop depending on your business model. Your working hours are also flexible, and you can fit them to match existing commitments. What’s more, you can widen your market globally to boost your revenues even further. The internet has various resources you can use to pitch your product or service to select customers across the web.
- Access to Great Business Support Opportunities
Like any franchise keen on boosting and maintaining its brand, online franchises offer various growth and skill development opportunities; This is achieved through training and workshops where you’ll meet other franchisees and experts in the field. The support network comes in handy for franchisees and other stakeholders to share their concerns about the business.
Challenges of Online Franchises
Online franchises also have their challenges, and being aware of and anticipating them will make your transition into the business more seamless. You’ll learn about more business-specific challenges and how to deal with them as you get exposed to the online franchise. Below are the three most common cons of online franchises.
- Security Concerns
Cybersecurity concerns have always been a primary concern for online businesses in general. Hackers are always on the prowl, discouraging customers from providing sensitive information online. Make sure your potential online franchise has invested in effective cybersecurity solutions from reputable providers to mitigate this risk.
- Stiff Competition
Another challenge with online franchises is the constant stiff competition in the online world. Better advertising and promotional tactics are always coming, and a company with lax or outdated strategies can easily be pushed out of business. Also, new and cheaper products may affect other online franchises.
- Technical Challenges
Websites sometimes experience outages referred to as “downtimes” and should be attended to promptly. Failure to correct the issues can lead to a loss of potential customers, especially if the downtime lasts several days. Always ensure an excellent diagnostic system to monitor and report any problems with your business’s website.