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Could a quasi-franchise model work for your business?

The fear of the unknown is what keeps a lot of entrepreneurs away from starting up their own businesses. It's also what stops a lot of existing companies from changing their business models. What if the plan doesn't work? What if the company loses money too quickly and it is forced to close? Will litigation be necessary to handle disputes regarding investors if everything fails?

If you're like some of our Los Angeles County readers and own your own business -- or are considering starting one -- then you've probably considered one of the questions above at one time or another. For some of you, just the thought of these questions may have stopped you from following your dream of owning your own business. If this was the case for you, then you're not alone.

There is a lot of risk associated with owning and operating your own business. Although owning a franchise business, such as a chain hotel or a fast-food restaurant, can oftentimes quell these concerns because of their well established business models and brand recognition, owning a franchise just isn't for everyone. But what if you could have the stability of a franchise with the customization of a start-up business? Think it isn't possible? Think again.

Called quasi-franchising, this type of business model gives entrepreneurs flexibility with the type of business they choose to operate -- right down to the decor of the establishment. Thanks to this flexibility, business owners can get the mom-and-pop feel more consumers are flocking toward nowadays. Quasi-franchises offer business owners a safety net in the form of corporate structure, which is then facilitated by a franchiser.

It's worth pointing out that although this new business model could catch on in the years to come, it may not be the best model for your business. In order to determine whether it's a good idea for your situation or not, you may want to have a conversation with a lawyer knowledgeable in business law. A good business lawyer not only will guide you through the legal issues of this business model (and help you consider alternatives) but will provide advice and guidance useful for effectively growing your business.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Why the Future Franchise Will Look Nothing Like Today'€™s," Andrew Terry and Cary Di Lernia, Jan. 26, 2015

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