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How to Own a Franchise and Keep Your Day Job

Absentee models allow you to be an employee and a business owner at the same time.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 3:15PM 01/31/23

While running your own business may sound like an immense time commitment and something that’s more than a full-time effort, there are many entrepreneurs who do it on the side. It takes serious dedication, a developed business plan and help from stellar staff, but it is possible to own a company and still work a regular 9-to-5 job.

Franchising is a great option for business owners who don’t want to give up their corporate career yet and are looking for a brand they can operate alongside other professional goals. This is because the franchise model offers the chance to be in business for yourself but to have a large network of support behind the scenes.

And with franchising, some industries and companies allow investors to be absentee owners, freeing up their time and energy for other efforts. If you have the right procedures in place and a trusted team at the helm, you can oversee the main parts of the business while still devoting yourself to other priorities as well. 

Pick a Model that Suits You 

There’s that age-old saying about not working a day in your life if you enjoy your job. If you’re looking to invest in a franchise while still working your day job, try to pick a field that allows you to work smarter rather than harder. Targeting the type of business to something that fits your wants, needs and lifestyle is paramount. 

“It’s best to really figure out what model is best for you, and that's all based on your income and lifestyle goals. Calculate your budget, a reasonable ramp-up time and the income/profit minimums you would be happy with. Determine what categories interest you and assess your skill set to ensure you will be a success as a passive owner,” said franchise advisor Mariel Miller online. “It’s then much easier to do a targeted search of companies to investigate that are worth your time.”

Run the Business Part-Time

Some concepts allow for owners to only be physically present for part of the time. For instance, at a restaurant, the owner does not need to be taking orders or cooking food in the kitchen if they have hired adequate staff. The same goes for those who run a lawn care business, painting company or other service businesses: they can hire a crew of technicians to do that, so they do not have to actually be there 100% of the time.

“Whether they are looking to generate additional income or create more security for themselves, it is possible to achieve this while running a franchise part-time. This does not mean that you won’t have an active role in your business. Instead, you will be taking on a role that dominates less of your time,” a Franchise Help article explained

Have Manager-Run Operations 

For owners, having a team that you trust to run the business when you’re not around is very important. The primary person in charge of that staff is typically a manager, and they are an absentee owner’s biggest asset. Ensuring that you hire a trusted and talented individual who will be the operator of the company is a top priority, so you can continue to focus on your current job. 

“Look for franchises that can be run with a manager, create a reoccurring revenue model and have technology available that allows you to be at the location without really being there,” advised Jim Otto, director of franchise development for Shear Madness Franchising, in a Quora post. “Salons, car washes and dry cleaners come to mind. There are many passive income opportunities available if you do your homework.”

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