Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!

Are There Alternatives to Franchising?

Although we hear so much about franchising in today's business community, businesses actually have several ways to expand their marketing distribution channels. Franchising is just one method, albeit a solid and successful one, of expansion and some business, because of the nature of their services, choose other alternatives to franchising.


Distributorships offer a strong alternative to franchising and may be preferable for some business owners. Distributorship owners have the following advantages:

  • One-on-one contractual relationship with suppliers of their choice
  • Opportunities to buy in bulk from suppliers
  • Opportunities to do business with companies of their choice, rather than being limited to a certain network

Likewise, there are disadvantages to distributorships as well. One of the biggest disadvantages is that distributorship owners usually don't receive the training and full-time operational support that franchise owners usually receive.

Some examples of popular nationwide distributorships include Amway, Mountain Life Spring Water and vending businesses such as Campbell's Soup and Knorr Soup vending machines.

Licensing Ownerships

As a licensee owner, you'll pay for the rights to use a company's trademark and branding. Otherwise, corporate licensors have no control over the operations of your business; they're primarily concerned with supervising the branding and collecting royalties on the use of the license.

If you prefer running your own business independently without corporate supervision of your operational procedures, there are advantages to being a licensee. As a licensee owner, however, you won't be able to avail yourself of support, training or any of the other operational advantages offered by franchise companies. Here are some of the advantages of being a licensee:

  • You'll have the opportunity to implement your own operational procedures
  • You can choose your own suppliers
  • You can choose your own locations and markets
  • You can run your business almost completely on an independent basis

Some examples of popular licensors include Apple Computer, Woolmark, Canon Inc. and Netscape Communications

Whether you decide on becoming a licensee, distributor or a franchisee depends largely upon the type of business you want to run, the way you want to run it and the industry that most interests you. For more information about franchisee, licensee and distributorship opportunities, you can contact your local branch of the Small Business Administration, or you can search online for franchise opportunities in your area.

Thomas Portesy President, MFV Expositions
Is Your Data Earning Its Keep?

Data is the lifeblood of your franchise organization. Your data fuels marketing and promotions, highlights KPIs, informs trends, enables responsiveness, and so much more.

Labor Shortages in the Food Services Market: Why Some Franchises are Thriving, and Some Are Not

Franchise owners in the food industry are feeling the brunt of the labor shortage that has plagued businesses, large and small, in a post-pandemic world. Early in the pandemic, restaurants struggled from shutdowns, consumer wariness, and limited capacity restrictions. As those things have improved in recent months, employers have been struck with a new problem – labor shortages.

Different Types of SBA Loans Video

In this video, we outline the 3 different types of SBA loans available to startup and existing companies. It is the most common loan type because the SBA backs a significant amount of the loan which reduces the risk of the lender. The main types of SBA loans & their key characteristics are as follows: