What Is Better: Independent Ownership or Franchising?

business owner of cafe with his laptop

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses contribute to half of the United States GDP, proving their importance to the country’s economic success. However, for new entrepreneurs in the clothing industry, choosing to purchase a franchise or open a new clothing store is a hard decision to make. The 2018 State of Small Business Survey has even reported that out of 10 entrepreneurs, eight found it challenging to decide whether to franchise or not in the beginning.

Both clothing franchises and independent stores have their perks and nuances. If you want to know which business model is right for you, take a look at this comparison:


In separate ownership, you own everything, but you’re also in charge of everything – from product development to launching and marketing. Expect sleepless nights because you’ll have to work a lot to get everything started.

In a franchise, the name and brand are owned by a more prominent organization, the franchisor. You have a limited decision-making power as a franchisee, but as part of the franchise deal, you will be provided with the products, marketing plan, store layout, POS, and almost everything a clothing business needs. You will also receive full support for your business.

Operational Assets

In independent ownership, you decide what operational assets to include in your business. What clothes to sell and display, how many changing rooms to include in your store, the number of staff to be hired, and other daily operations regarding management and hiring decisions are all in your hands. The choices you’ll make will rely on a trial-by-error method to check which operational asset works for your business.

In a franchise, you have the advantage of implementing a proven successful system for operating a business. The success of a franchisee is the success of the franchisor as a whole. For this reason, franchisors offer operational support. However, franchisees are still in control of their daily operations.


franchise business

As an independent owner, you have the upper hand of how much money you’ll have to put up to start your business. However, you have to learn how to manage your profit and put it where it’s needed. Otherwise, you’ll be spending more than what you’re earning.

With a franchise business, you will have to pay a higher upfront cost. This is for all the marketing, equipment, training, and products that the franchisor will provide for you. However, because you’re also using the franchisor’s instantly recognizable brand name, you have a better chance of gaining back what you paid for in the first place. Franchising offers a faster return on investment (ROI) option.

Marketing and Branding

These are some of the most challenging parts of starting your independent store. You have to do all the research, and you’re likely to spend more on advertising and marketing.

One of the best perks of purchasing a franchise business is that the marketing and branding aspects are already taken care of. You don’t have to worry about how you can gather leads and turn them into customers.

Finally, the business model you should choose is the one that will suit your interests and strengths. If you can do everything and would like to learn more about how to run a business by yourself, you can start an independent store. But if you’d rather purchase a completed setup, choose a franchise instead.

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