One person's meat is another's poison when it comes to operating a franchised tire outlet. And that's why becoming a franchisee will not appeal to everyone entering the tire business. What some proponents cite as the prime advantages of operating a franchised tire outlet-namely, following a proven business format and not having to haggle with tire and equipment suppliers-also can be listed as the disadvantages of franchising by those critical of such programs.
The chief difference between these two opposing viewpoints is easily summed up in a word-``independence.'' At issue is how much control-or how little-the business owner or franchisee is willing to turn over to the company issuing the franchise (the franchiser).
Not everyone is willing to follow the dictates of such franchisers when selecting a location, equipping it and then operating what after all is their business.
But for some prospective franchisees-particularly those whose jobs have been eliminated by corporate downsizing and other budget cutbacks-tire franchising holds the prospect of earning a comfortable living running one's own business.
Coming from a corporate environment, they're apt to be comfortable following the rules inherent in most tire franchises. And with their life savings at stake, those individuals are likely to welcome such business guidelines rather than find them overly restrictive.
There's no denying that for newcomers to the tire business, franchise programs provide valuable training to help make their operations successful.
Still, most entrepreneurs will refuse to give up the right to buy and sell whatever tires they wish, expand operations whenever and wherever they wish, and ultimately to sell out to whomever they wish without needing the franchiser's approval.
Franchising obviously is not for everyone. But many would-be tire dealers find it the only pathway by which to enter the business. When they do, however, these prospects need to examine the restrictive provisions of their franchise agreements before signing on.