Manage the Manager as a Semi-Absentee Franchise Owner

A majority of entrepreneurs, eager to establish a successful business, choose the franchising route to become their own boss. As a business owner, they want to harness this enthusiasm and run every aspect of the operations. They choose to be as “hands-on” as possible because every decision they make, every detail they oversee, and every hour they work directly contributes to the sustainability and success of their new venture. 

But there’s also another way to run a franchise—the semi-absentee business model.

Ever heard the phrase, “don’t quit your day job?” Semi-absentee franchise operators can keep theirs. But here’s something to consider up front—running a franchise operation as a semi-absentee model doesn’t mean partial business ownership. It’s simply a way to become a business owner without having to put in a typical 40-hour work week. Most of these opportunities allow the franchise owner to hire a qualified employee to run the day-to-day operation of the business. It’s commonly referred to in our industry as “managing the manager”. 

There are several reasons for choosing the semi-absentee route. Some want to dip their toe into franchising and see if it’s the right fit. Some already have a secure, well-paying job they don’t want to lose, but want to expand their business portfolio. But one of the most common reasons for going the semi-absentee route is to build another stream of income, allowing them an off-ramp exit strategy from Corporate America’s highway.

There are hundreds of franchise business models that are designed to be operated as a semi-absentee operation. A few examples include mobile-based businesses, salons, fitness centers, home services and property management franchises. In each of these categories, the semi-absentee business owner needs to hire a qualified manager and stay engaged through the franchise’s early stage of growth. Once the business is up and running on its own, it’s time to step back while still checking in frequently to make sure things are still going smoothly.

Bear in mind that being a semi-absentee owner, it often takes higher levels of investment, time and capital to get your franchises up and running. In essence, you’re paying someone else to do what you might be doing yourself, as an owner-operator on your own. And semi-absentee ownership does not apply to all franchise concepts or business owners. If this is the route you intend to take, it’s imperative to make sure that a semi-absentee franchise is a fit for your personal goals, lifestyle and long-term strategy as a business owner. In reality, it’s likely you’ll still need to commit to 10-20 hours per week to operate a franchise in this manner. And it’s critical to do your own due diligence, research and consultations to determine if semi-absentee ownership is right for your situation.

FranNet of Dallas-Fort Worth can introduce you to several semi-absentee business concepts. If you’d like to hear more, schedule a no-cost, no obligation meeting with us. Together we’ll find a franchise where you can manage the manager—and still meet your business ownership and lifestyle goals.


About the Author

Sara Waskow is the Dallas-Fort Worth Market President for FranNet, the nation’s leading franchise consultancy. She’s a career transition specialist whose no-cost, no-obligation expertise matches individuals to business opportunities that best fit their unique goals and talents. Sara is a member of Success North Dallas, the Southlake and Grapevine Chambers of Commerce, and the Cowtown Executives Association. She graduated from Texas A&M University and has lived in the DFW area for over 30 years. She can be reached at: [email protected].

Nov 10, 2020