Buy yourself an awesome job, where you’re the boss.

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For some strange reason, I’ve heard people referring to lower-cost franchises in a negative way as “But they are just buying themselves a job.”

This is a pretty common assessment by many people on lower cost businesses.

The type of business we’re talking about here are things like;

  • Mobile services (many of these),
  • Work from home online,
  • Some broker businesses,
  • And many more.

I take exception to this view, as what is wrong with buying yourself a job? A job that YOU own and can decide how much you want to earn that week and how hard you wish to work. Of course, not working hard comes with the consequences of not earning as much money – same as in any business.

The phrase ‘buying yourself a job’ comes about by people putting their own expectations onto other people. Not everyone has the dream of buying one café or pizza store and becoming a multi-site owner turning over multimillions of dollars annually. Not that many actually have the capacity or capability to do that successfully, but all power to those that do. The potential of investing a small amount of money with low risk is very attractive to many people, and especially those first time business owners. It’s quite a sensible way to approach getting into your own business.


Don’t be sold on someone else’s dream or measure of success. Don’t let them apply that to you. If they see success as having a multi-million dollar turn over business and making a healthy profit on that yearly – good for them. BUT, I see nothing wrong with people not wanting or thinking like that.

The Average Wage

In this whole discussion, the important number really as far as ‘a job’ is concerned, is really quite subjective when it comes to earning. However, for simplicity and logic, let’s just go off what the actual data says on the average wage in Australia.

The Australian average weekly earnings / wage according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is;

$1,567.90 per week, or $81,530.80 per annum.

With WA and the ACT average weekly earnings being closer to the $1,800 mark, the differences between the rest are not substantial.

Earning $81,000 is the norm for most

Let’s look at what it takes for on a daily basis for most to earn ‘the average’ $81,000 odd.

Let’s say you get up at 530am, get the kids up, fed and ready for school. You both race out the door to do the before school care, or school drop-off run. Quick kiss goodbye to the kids from the car, and they are dropped and away. Now you both commute to work.

Get to work and get on with your day, maybe juggling work commitments and the odd personal appointment depending on what is happening that day or week. End of the day and it is time to do the whole kids drop off thing in reverse. This can be chaotic and entirely inflexible, and before you know it, 10 years have gone by!

A low-cost franchise (So called, buying yourself a job)

Of course, It matters which franchise you choose, but there are many low entry cost franchises out there that can demonstrate large networks giving you plenty of existing owners to speak to about their experiences. The number 1 question I believe when talking to existing franchise owners in a business is;

From where you sit now, and knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

The typical features and benefits for a services type franchise owner in a good system might be;

  • Choose a territory to work close to home
  • Structure your work day around the hours that work best while considering the needs of your business,
  • Share jobs with fellow franchisees close-by and viceversa in the event of family time / occasions and needs,
  • Receive customer leads from franchisor AND generate your own with local marketing and referral – market more, earn more,
  • Be in control of your own day and life in general,
  • Do something every day that you actually enjoy doing and chose to do. The particular business type may even allow you to focus on key parts of the business / service that you most enjoy doing

Funding the ‘buying of your job’

Invest anything in the range of $35k - $100k, most of which is likely entirely funded from home owner equity which is quite common in investing in franchises like this at that price point.

Generally, the good thing about that is the smaller investment fitting within the equity level re-draw where applicable, means that the payable interest and serviceability on the loan is low in comparison to other funding. BUT, the kicker is when people don’t have a structured pay down in a reasonable time period. Don’t make the same mistake, and as always, you must get professional advice.

The low-cost franchisors dilemma

I recently met with a mobile services based franchisor who is doing quite well with 50+ franchise territories nationally. They have thousands of customer leads going un-serviced per year, so they are trying to meet demand. His story is not uncommon in the type of franchise it is as I’ve worked with many of them over the years. The success of their business model, and through the work of the franchisees and franchisor in growing their brand and reputation, mean they have significant unrealised potential nationally.

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Yet he experiences frustration having a number of franchise owners who are comfortable just as they are earning $80-$100k per year. With his top earners exceeding $150k per year, he sees potential for all of them easily in that range per year, but they are more than comfortable as they are. Of course, as a franchisor he wants more for them, and so he should for the benefit of his business system.

This conversation actually prompted me to write this story. And when you see the data around the national average wage being $81k per year, you can understand why many sit and stay at this point. As it seems very likely that many probably never had much intention or desire to go to the level they need to do, to double that earning.

My guess is, that the pay-off in lifestyle is too high. Either way, I reckon buying yourself a job like this is absolutely fine by me, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise…