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Franchising Vs. Starting a Business: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?

When you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, you can take a few different avenues to help you realize your dream of ownership. This can include freelancing and consulting your services, starting your own small business, and, of course, franchising. Contrary to what you may have heard, starting a business is much different than franchising. And that’s not to say that one is easier than the other or has a guaranteed roadmap for success.

So, how do you know which one is right for you?

As a prospective franchisee with ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Co., we want to help you discern the difference and validate your decision to be your own boss.


The ability to work, manage, and operate independently is a benefit of both starting a business and owning a franchise. However, with franchising comes a dedicated partner while you start learning how to build your business. You’re still an independent and local business owner developing the culture and staff at your specific location.

When you start a business from scratch, you’re truly working in a solo capacity. Everything is dependent on you and your business savvy. There’s no support or training built into the business model as far as you as the owner or ready-made systems for added convenience.

At ASP, we like to say, “you get the advantage of having a seasoned business partner without sharing ownership of your company.” We truly believe in going into business for yourself, not by yourself. Our franchising team is with you through the training process to ensure you have the best chance at success.

Business Model

It’s probably safe to say that if you’ve been considering starting your business for a while, you’ve developed an in-depth business plan that crosses every T and dots every I. Usually when you begin the process of creating a business plan, you’ll want to think about:

  • An executive summary – You’ll briefly tell the readers of your business plan about your company, including a mission statement, products, potential customer base, and more.
  • Company description – Unlike the executive summary, this section tells potential investors about your business and should give detailed information about it.
  • Market analysis – You’ll look at your competition and discuss how to differentiate yourself from everyone else in the market.

The difference in franchising is that the brand will already have an established and proven business model that doesn’t require further development. Now, that’s not to say that it shouldn’t evolve with time as the market continues to change or new industry innovations surface.

Our model at ASP has been proven and served our franchisees well for almost 20 years. Franchising with us is a secure channel for tenured and newly minted entrepreneurs to jumpstart their dream of owning a business. You’re not being asked to reinvent the wheel, only to use a tried-and-true business model to aid you in your future successes. We provide you with:

  • Results-driven business plan – There’s no guesswork with our established model. You won’t have to develop a plan of action because we have it available as soon as you sign on the dotted line.
  • An integrated communication platform – We use a proprietary, automated mobile system that allows you to communicate with customers easily, so you don’t have to spend money developing an intuitive app for clients.
  • Researched territories – We’ve done all the research for you regarding available areas to open your ASP franchise location.
  • Superior training and support – Whether you’re new to business ownership or have done this before, you get the training and support needed to get your business off on the right foot. You’re not running your business alone. You have a trusted partner by your side.

ASP takes the mystery out of starting a new business and gives you the resources needed to give you a leg up from the competition instantly.


Investing in your business (or having others assist in that endeavor) is one of the first steps you’ll take to attain your dream of ownership. When you start your own business and build it from the ground up, your initial investment will be significant. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the average cost to start a business from scratch is over $30,000. However, this start-up capital doesn’t usually include marketing expenses to attract customers, office inventory, office space, equipment/products, and more.

Similarly, the initial investment for a franchise starts around $40,000, but that figure can vary greatly depending on the specific industry you’re going into or the territory you’re opening your franchise. Sometimes, initial franchise costs can include specific fees that help you with marketing, space, and equipment. A swimming pool franchise opportunity with ASP will consist of the franchise fee, the business outfitting, and the initial marketing expenses to help get your name in the marketplace.

Brand Awareness

When you build a business from the ground up, there’s a good chance that no one in the market is unfamiliar with your name or the services you offer—unless you’ve been consulting or freelancing for a major brand and have contacts in the industry. Nine times out of 10, you’re fresh out of the gate and looking to make well-known contacts. This is where networking comes into play, attending trade shows, conferences, and several industry events that provide much-needed exposure.

Franchising is less involved in terms of trying to establish a name in the industry. When you sign a franchise agreement with a major brand name, there’s already brand awareness in the market, so there isn’t a need to do back-breaking work to get your name recognized. ASP is the nation’s leading swimming pool franchise, which means attracting clients won’t be an issue.

Overall Success

Success is never a guarantee when you take a chance on business ownership. However, research shows that you have a better chance of success with a franchise location than starting your own business. A study done based on Census data showed that first-year franchises have a 6.3% higher success rate than independent businesses.

In essence, a franchise opportunity with ASP gives you the chance to go as far as you want in this industry, but you won’t be doing it alone. With the support of our executive and franchise teams, your success will be our success.

To get started realizing your dream of franchise ownership with an industry leader, call (800) 734-7886.


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