One of the biggest decisions entrepreneurs must make is choosing between launching an independent business or joining a business network. Both options have a mix of advantages and drawbacks. However, certain market conditions make it more favorable for business owners to tap into a larger network of expertise, support and buying power.
SpeedPro’s network of like-minded studio owners and corporate staff offers immense value to new and existing franchisees. If you’re contemplating independent versus network business options, consider these benefits.
Independent vs. network: What’s the difference?
Although you’re launching a business at the end of the day, there are many differences between independent businesses and business networks.
Owning an independent business means you’re largely operating on your own. You own the rights to your company’s branding, products, processes, technologies and innovations.
For the most part, independent businesses have to forge their own paths. Owners need to have the skills and expertise required to build their business within the industry and provide products or services of value. They must also develop relationships with manufacturers, suppliers and vendors and negotiate unique terms and rates. As an owner of an independent business, you have the freedom to change things like the products and services you offer and who you’re targeting in the market.
On the other hand, a business network is a group of companies operating as part of a larger system to accomplish mutual goals or objectives.
Being part of a business network, such as a franchise system, means you own and operate your own business, but you have support behind you. Network owners didn’t create the brand, products or processes. Instead, owners typically “buy in” to the network and use its expertise and existing processes to grow their individual business with local customers. The network’s parent company makes large decisions about new products and services, target customers and other market changes.
The benefits of business networks
Choosing to join a business network instead of going it alone allows you to tap into a number of valuable benefits. In a way, these advantages offer even more “return” on your investment!
- Brand recognition and reputation: Independent businesses come with the disadvantage of being brand-new, with little to no brand recognition in the marketplace. Business networks have been in operation for some time. This means more people will have heard of or have been a client of the company already. By entering that network, your business can take advantage of that existing recognition immediately. Plus, even if the business is new to the region, it will already have a strong reputation elsewhere. This helps build customer trust quickly.
- Purchasing power: One of the biggest challenges business owners are facing today is supply chain disruption. Fortunately, business networks typically have greater buying power and are able to navigate these challenges more easily. Networks have existing supply chain relationships, making it easier to overcome obstacles and keep supplies in stock more regularly. Using the established, nation-wide brand to purchase large quantities may also lower costs for individual franchisees. Within the SpeedPro network, our owners have also been able to tap one another to plug supply gaps in the short term. One studio owner can buy materials from another owner within the network quickly without having to scramble to find a new vendor or pay high prices.
- Training and support: Business networks have done the hard part of launching a new company for you. The parent company has taken the time to develop and prove its systems, try new technologies and market-test products. This saves network owners time and money, because you aren’t making expensive mistakes before launch. Networks also offer tons of training and support! If you launch an independent business, you need to have the skills and industry expertise right away. In a network model like SpeedPro’s, we’ll give you the training and knowledge you need to be successful—no experience necessary.
- Collective expertise: On top of corporate support and training, business networks also let owners tap into the collective expertise of other owners! Each franchisee has their own skills and experiences to share. Independent business owners might have support from mentors or other entrepreneurs, but it’s not guaranteed. Being part of a network gives you the opportunity to receive advice and best practices from people who share the same goals as you.
Working together delivers SpeedPro success
Whether in stable conditions or challenging periods of uncertainty, business networks give entrepreneurs an added layer of stability and security. Part of what makes SpeedPro so successful across the country is our teamwork and widespread network of passionate business owners.
Does being part of the SpeedPro network interest you? Our large-format print franchise opportunity might be the perfect fit! Fill out our contact form to get in touch with a representative and learn more.