Latin man using digital tabletWhether you’re considering a franchise or becoming a franchise consultant, it is critical that you consider all your options before settling on one. In short, a business model is a company’s plan of how it is going to be successful and make money. There are many different business models. Which one do you think will work the best for you?

Manufacturer: A manufacturer is an entity that creates products from raw materials. The company can then either sell these products directly to customers or outsource them to another company to sell. If you have an idea for a new product that doesn’t exist today, this is probably the business model for you.

Distributor: A distributor is one who purchases products directly from a manufacturer (usually in bulk at a lower cost) and then sells them to to the public or to retail outlets at a higher price. A good example of a distributor is a car dealership. The dealership buys a lot of cars directly from the manufacturer, adjusts the prices and sells them.

Broker: A company that acts as a mediator between the customer and business or even two businesses. Companies such as as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are great examples of broker companies that mediate a business transaction between someone selling an item and someone buying that item.

As you explore the possibilities, there is one other model to keep in mind. If you want to own your own business and be your own boss — but you also want a proven model to follow — then you might want to consider a franchise.

Franchise: The type of franchise you purchase will determine the type of business model you use. Essentially you are paying an already successful company to use their business plan, resources and name. You will then follow that company’s model, whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or something else, to make money and grow your own business.

A benefit of a franchise is that you will have great resources available to you. As you look to start your own company, it is important that you establish your business model and know exactly how your company is going to make money. The models listed above, while not being extensive (there are definitely other business models out there) is a good starting point to help you decided what type of business you want to start.