Franchising

Over the last week I’ve been thinking a lot about defining HalOtis’ Strategic Objective. In particular, I’ve been playing with the idea of creating a website to advertise real-estate rentals for Vancouver. It’s an idea that has potential in this city because of the booming construction, and relatively high occupancy rate. When I was looking for a place back in May, it was difficult because there wasn’t one good place to go, that had up to date information, and pictures.

Craigslist.org is there, but it didn’t seem ideally suited to posting apartments. The newspaper doesn’t have pictures, and all the other websites out there were either small, and just handled a single property management company, or looked ancient, and outdated.

So I thought about creating my own site, to compete with the local ones. I investigated various software packages that I could get to help the process of building a website, and found none that really did what I wanted. I realized that building my own site from scratch, designing the databases, interfaces, design, functionality, graphics, and everything else would be just too much work for me. I figured that if I did start into such an ambitious project on my own, I’d eventually lose interest and throw in the towel.

Then another possibility occurred to me. If I could partner with a site in another region, that’s already a well established business, and has all the website technology written, and tested, and looking good. Then I could offer them the opportunity to let me expand their business into Vancouver. That way I skip most of the upfront time and effort that would go into designing the platform, and jump right into running the business.

That way I could start with the marketing plan, and start making sales immediately. Once the deal was agreed on, I could have a site up an running within a week, and have income from the business just days later.

That is the beauty of franchising. I know that the business model works because it’s proven itself, I know that the website works because I can use it. That removes a lot of variables from my mind, especially since, as a newcomer to the business world, I would likely make some big mistakes early on, that could keep me from working towards my goal. I step into a business with a cash flow ready to be tapped.