From custom engraved gifts to serializing large runs of tools or parts, lasers can be an invaluable resource for a wide variety of businesses. Because lasers are so versatile, laser cutters/engravers could support a business all on their own. However, entrepreneurs often face a challenge when they are determining the type of business they want to start. Starting a business from scratch, with the freedom and pride of ownership, is an appealing option for many. On the other hand, franchising can be attractive because of established recognition, corporate support and existing best practices.
If you are looking to start a business, you may run into the very same questions — should you start your own business or look into franchise options for existing enterprises?
What is franchising?
A franchise is a type of business owned and operated by individuals, called franchisees, who are overseen by a larger company, called the franchiser. For example, McDonald’s, Anytime Fitness, and Ace Hardware stores are all franchises. There are typically competing franchise options and many people have found success through buying into a franchise rather than choosing to start their own business.
A Look at Franchising
Franchises bring a few things to the table. They provide smaller companies with brand awareness from the start. The franchiser gives the franchisee access to their large audience, giving the franchisee a jumpstart on building a customer base. The franchiser typically has years of experience in the industry and can lend expertise and insight to help the franchisee succeed.
While franchising offers these advantages, it also poses some significant challenges. Franchising limits the freedom a company owner has over his or her own products and business practices. The franchiser ultimately has the final say in franchise operations because they own the brand. Franchisees do not have the ability to change their products or the aesthetics of their business. Usually, there is a fee to buy into a franchise and those fees are generally high. Additionally, the franchisee has to pay fixed costs and fees every month or year for continued use of the brand name. This can be expensive for someone just starting out in a franchise. It can take months to make back the money that franchisees have to pay simply to get started.
The Advantages of Ownership
On the other side of the spectrum, you can start your own business, an option that comes with many benefits. In particular, starting a business with a laser machine can set you up for success.
By branching out without a franchise, business owners do not have to pay high franchise fees. Purchasing a laser system, or even leasing to own a laser, is a much more affordable path. You also avoid having to pay royalties to a franchiser, instead only paying the price of the equipment. Every penny you earn using an Epilog Laser system is your own and you are free to use it as you please for any part of your business.
Another benefit of starting a business for yourself is being able to work at your own pace and on your own timeline. With a franchise, you are at the will of the franchiser’s time, and do not have the freedom to work whenever you want. Many laser business owners, however, operate part-time in addition to other jobs, or around their social and family schedules.
The biggest benefit of owning a business and laser system is that it gives business owners creative freedom. With a franchise, you have to produce and sell what the franchiser requires. By owning your own laser, you have the freedom to advertise wherever you want, create the types of products that bring in the most profit and set your own policies, prices and hours. This freedom is the key reason for starting a business that is totally and completely yours.
Success through Ownership
Starting a laser business may seem like a daunting task, but many people are finding success in utilizing laser technology. Check out the video below, and explore our other success stories to meet people who have purchased a laser and started their own business. Instead of entering a big chain franchise, you can purchase a laser and start a business that involves something you are passionate about and that you built yourself. Laser businesses are particularly unique because, currently, there are no franchising businesses that use lasers. Laser owners are not competing against national or global franchise brands. Small business owners who utilize lasers are ahead of the game, using the latest manufacturing techniques to create unique products and provide in-demand services.
Starting a business is the option that provides business owners with the most autonomy and control. Franchising, on the surface, appears to be an easy way to get started, but in reality, it can be very restrictive and can end up being more expensive than branching out on your own. Lasers are great tools to help start your own business. If you are considering putting together a laser business, check out our popular guidebook – it is a great place to start!
Interested in starting your own laser business? Fill out the form on this page to receive a full product line brochure with engraved and cut samples, or call the number below for more information.