Running your own business means being on call constantly.

Running your own business means being on call constantly. Photo: Michele Mossop

I AM keen to start a business from home and have a few good ideas but have been putting it off for years as I don't know how to make that first step. I am meticulous but work better to guidelines than from scratch. I am also looking for flexibility as I have a young family. Would a franchise suit me better? What are the pros and cons for franchising as opposed to pursuing my own idea for a business? And, if I go down the franchising path, are there mentors to guide me?

Running your own business, be it a franchise or a start-up, takes a massive commitment.

I understand you have a young family and are looking for flexibility but the reality of the situation is that starting a business is a 24-hour job. So you need to be ready for that regardless of which way you decide to go.

My first question is: What kind of capital do you have to invest in this business? Starting up is capital-intensive and you need a way to support yourself and your family while the business is in that initial growth phase. Even if you're engaging in a franchise structure, you'll still be required to put your own money in, and it can get quite expensive.

Franchising is a good option if you're looking for a structure in which you can be your own boss without having to deal with many of the start-up hurdles.

Joining a franchise can make it easier to hit the ground running, and your best bet would be to look for one that has an induction and training process that will get you moving as soon as possible. Franchises come with the support of a network, but they can also be quite strict in their processes. So you need to be comfortable with giving up some control, as well as some revenue, to be successful in a franchise environment.

No matter what you decide to do, start with a plan, research all the options and make sure you understand the capital requirements necessary to get off the ground.

Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a wealth-management company and small business adviser that sells products and services for home loans, financial planning, insurance, superannuation, investments, accounting and tax. His advice here is intended as guidance only. Go to ybr.com.au.

If you have a question for Mark Bouris email it to Max Mason at max.mason@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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