It's not uncommon for individuals to find themselves stuck in a rut at work, unhappy with their jobs and yearning for the freedom to be their own boss. For this reason, many employees have quit their jobs to find greener pastures owning and running a franchise opportunity.

The going is not always going to be easy - especially in an economic climate struggling to lower its 9.2 percent unemployment rate - but franchise systems provide a certain level of support that independent businesses don't offer while continuing to provide owners with the independence they desire.

One of the top benefits of owning a franchise is that the structure allows franchisees to schedule their time as they see fit rather than abiding by a typical 9-to-5 schedule. Greater work-life balance allows them to spend more time with their family and stop worrying about impressing higher-ups.

However, many of the benefits of investing in a franchise opportunity come during the period when owners are just setting up shop. For example, franchisees don't have to worry about whether a product or service will find success - in most cases, the system has proved its worth.

"The risk of failure is much lower with a franchise than starting a brand new business because when you buy a franchise you buy a system that works," Tony Zoobi, a franchisee, writes for "The systems are designed to reduce the errors that a common business owner might make, and instead help them focus on growing the sales."

Part of a system's success includes providing training and ongoing support to its franchisees, the website notes. When a franchisee is preparing to open his or her first unit, the system will often provide a training program and reference materials, such as an operations manual, to assist them with whatever problems may come their way.

However, franchisor support doesn't end after a unit's doors open. "Once you are up and running you will always have the support of the franchisor, and fellow franchisees and the back-up of knowing you are part of a national chain," Zoobi explains. "You will always be able to pick up the phone and ask questions to the franchisor or even to other franchisees (who I believe are the best resources in the business)."

Not all franchises are created equal, though. To assess which system is best for a prospective franchisee, they should seek current franchisees' opinions while thoroughly combing the Franchise Disclosure Document.

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