Ask any group of franchise owners what motivated them to acquire and operate a business and it’s likely most will say it’s the opportunity to be their own boss.

Many of them began their careers in corporate life and grew weary of answering to others, dealing with office intrigue and not being rewarded fairly for the contributions they made.

Buying an independent (i.e., non-franchised) business addresses most of these issues. But with little or no ongoing operational guidance after the changeover period, the freedom to be your own boss often equates to unlimited opportunities to make mistakes!

As a result, many entrepreneurs choose to acquire a franchise. Among franchising’s major advantages are your ability to follow a proven business model. You’ll also receive continued support from the franchising organization long after the purchase.

These benefits come at a price. As a franchise owner, you’ll be expected to trade away some level of autonomy in how you operate your business.

As noted in the article, Does a Franchise Have to Follow Corporate Policy? published on, “The degree to which a franchisor chooses to mandate your policies and procedures can vary, but some level of compliance is non-negotiable. After you have signed the franchise agreement, you’re legally bound to follow all the rules it contains.

“Those rules are in place because successful franchising depends on duplicating a proven system and the franchisor doesn’t want you to “fix” what isn’t broken. Failure to adhere to the franchisor’s rules can risk not only your success but the integrity and value of the franchise brand. Your franchise license can be revoked if you don’t follow them.”

How strict are franchisor’s rules? At one end of the spectrum might be a quick-serve restaurant. While no one can argue with the franchise’s potential profitability, few would deny the many guidelines involved.

At a fast-food operation, it’s likely you’ll have to adhere to a multitude of regulations regarding precise cooking times, grill temperatures, assembly processes, hold times for cooked products and hold times for assembled products, just to name a very few!

So, what’s a prospective franchise buyer to do if you’re wary of too many rules that might limit your chance to finally — and truly — be your own boss?

Begin by reading the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). To make an informed decision on whether the opportunity is right for you, pay particular attention to item 9 covering the “Franchisee’s Obligations.” This is the section that spells out just what rules you’ll be expected to follow. A parting comment on franchisee obligations.

Allegra welcomes your questions about our franchisee obligations. Ask us about them and any other concerns that come to mind when exploring your franchise ownership opportunities in the graphics communications industry.