I have always been scornful of the franchising of America.  It’s like everywhere you go, in Anycity, USA, there they are, laid out in similar form in strip malls from Centennial, Colorado to Jacksonville, Florida.  Recently I’ve been studying the franchise business model.   With a heavy heart.  We’ve had career changes that have caused us to investigate other business choices and that has included the franchise.

Years of a rather snob-like disdain of the Applebees, KFCs, Blockbusters, The Great Frame-Ups of the world,  I’ve found myself in the position of really looking at these models trying to find ‘something’ that I could actually align myself with and not feel totally embarassed.  Sure, the franchisors fall all over themselves to sell you on the idea, the “territory”, the support. You then get to “own your own business” but you are tied to the blueprint they have developed – which leaves one little room for creativity but if you aren’t an inherently creative person (and I’m not) could be useful…but still.  Our country is pockmarked with stores and restaurants that have no individuality or personality, which is why I like to support the truly independent business.
I’m lucky enough to live in a town that has a true town center: a place with personally owned restaurants, hip niche shops and an independent bookstore.  Now I will admit to spending hours in various Barnes and Nobles and Borders, but there is nothing like a real, independent bookstore.  It’s true they cannot offer the hardcover discounts of the ‘big box’ booksellers but come on, the personality of the independent can really be a treasure in a community.
We came ‘this close’ to moving forward on a certain tutoring franchise but I’m quite relieved that we decided not to.  I’m reasonably sure that this tutoring center has value to the students who attend…but it’s not for me.
But that leaves the major question:  what IS for me??  I’m only getting older yet I still yearn for success and still believe the future is ahead of me.  Some people my age might be feeling age discrimination and while my birthday is tomorrow, I refuse to be constrained by the age thing.  My heart’s passion are things that aren’t wealth-making.  HELP.