I am Gaurav Nigam, Founder of Tumbledry Laundry and Dry Clean, a firm which is converting the unorganised laundry sector of India, into an organised sector.
The dilemma of starting out on your own or choosing a Franchise Opportunity is an important dilemma to solve. You are probably at a stage, when you are trying to become a first time entrepreneur, or looking to diversify your portfolio of businesses, or looking for an opportunity for your partner, whatever be the reason, you have to make a choice.
In this article I would try to help give you a perspective on what works best under what circumstance, and how one should decide why it makes sense to start your Own Business and not a Franchise Business.
5 points that favour Own Business over a Franchise Opportunity.
- Novelty of Idea: If you have hit across an idea or the product that is novel or new in nature, and does not exist in the market today, then it would not have any competition or Franchise Business options available in the market. Only you can launch, promote and make it successful. Like Steve Jobs introduced I-Pods in the market, when such a product did not exist, or when Uber introduced a taxi service which did not exist in the market.
- Differentiated Offering: When you want to roll out an improved or a differentiated version of an existing product or service in the market and capitalise on the niche blue ocean. When you are confident that the improvement that you have thought cannot be easily replicated by the existing players, you have then found the right business idea for your business. Like launching Holidays with a Theme, instead of just simple hotel and travel holiday package. Eg- Trek Holiday with Family, Snorkelling Course Vacation Holiday, Wine tasting holiday. This will differentiate you from the Makemytrips of the world, and would give you a niche segment to promote your services in.
- Vision: This is your ability to envision how big you want this venture to be. If you are eager to create a state level or a national level presence with your product or service, and not be limited to just 3-4 stores in a single city, then it is merit-worthy to seriously consider the possibility of launching your own brand and may be giving out Franchisees of the same in the future. KFC did not start with a vision of a single store, not did Big Bazaar or Walmart, or for that matter Starbucks.
- In depth / Prior Knowledge: If you have been a professional in the field that you intend to start your business in, then the decision of jumping into business would have come after due deliberation on why you would succeed more as an entrepreneur than as an employee in the same industry. You would have planned on how to be different than the current employer and therefore pursuing your Own Business Opportunity would make more sense. Like Mr Narayan Murthy used to work in Patni Computers and got his knowledge about software from his job and started Infosys. Arnab Goswami worked as a TV news anchor before starting own TV channel. Sachin Bansal did a small stint in Amazon before starting Flipkart.
- Self-Belief: This last characteristic is the most important among the 5 listed here. This requires you to be very honest and realistic about your own capabilities. Do you think you are good problem solving, do you think you are good as a leader, are you capable of handling immense pressure and finally are you willing to put everything you have got into this venture to make it successful. The questions listed here are important as the life of an entrepreneur is full of challenges which come daily, and which come out of nowhere. One’s ability to adapt, withstand stress and move on is extremely critical when you venture out towards your Own Business, as everything needs to be done from scratch. Which is why “Self-Belief” and an honest assessment of one-self is important before you plunge into this.
I had been in a job that was fulfilling and rewarding, however there was always an inner craving to create something, to solve some problem and to make an impact and leave an imprint. The above reason and a burning desire within propelled me into my Own Business direction and the launch of my start-up, Tumbledry Laundry and Dry Clean. Tumbledry started its journey in April 2019, and at the time of writing this article in Apr 2021, we are already a 150 store, 35 city operations and looking forward to a brighter future.