Many environmental health and safety pros want to start a consulting business. The lure of being your own boss and having greater income potential is certainly attractive. But what about the concern that the business may fail? Statistics show that most businesses fail within four years of being started. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own business, but start it in a way that reduces the risk of the business failing? There is a way that this can be done. You can buy into a franchise. There is less chance of a franchise failing than an independent small business. Franchises succeed because they have refined the process that makes the business successful. Consider that lots of people can make a great tasting hamburger, but they can’t beat McDonalds in selling burgers. This is because McDonalds has refined the process — advertising, marketing, purchasing, and so on—that makes it more successful than its competition. Another reason franchises succeed is because a franchise allows you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. The franchiser and other franchisees support each other.
You probably haven’t heard of many franchise opportunities in the EHS field, but they do exist. To look for opportunities you need to open up your mind a bit. You should also open up the pages of the January, 1998, issue of Entrepreneur magazine. It lists more than 850 franchises and ranks the top 500 franchise businesses in the U.S. and Alberta, Canada. (There are reported to be more than 5,000 franchise companies around the world.) The franchise rating can also be found on the Internet at www.entrepreneurmag.com.