Is The Absentee Business Model Right For You?

A business that runs autonomously with minimal attention might seem like a good idea, but is an absentee franchise really the best of both worlds? See examples and discover your options.


Of the different types of franchise ownership, the absentee model is the most hands-off type of ownership, treating the business primarily as an investment opportunity that doesn’t require daily involvement. Operational and everyday managerial duties are outsourced to qualified professionals, and the absentee business owner tracks the company’s progress mostly from afar.

The absentee model allows for more personal freedom and scalability, where franchisees behave more like silent partners than full-time owner-operators. For example, you will see athletes and celebrities take this approach to franchising, allowing their celebrity and influence to serve as the “face” of the business while investing little more than their money and reputation in the business.

Absentee business ownership opportunities are best for those who are looking for an an investment opportunity that won’t take up too much of their time.

Not every business can operate without the owner present during business hours, so it’s important to recognize the franchise types that are appropriate for absentee ownership. Some of the more common absentee opportunities are car washes, dry cleaners, fitness centers, and many home services franchises. While absentee owners are still invested in the success of their business, they can rely on trusted and experienced staff to run day-to-day operations with little oversight.


The absentee model is often most attractive to individuals who want to continue along their current career path but are looking for a lucrative investment opportunity that won’t take up too much of their time. Some want to invest with the idea that this will one day be their primary source of income, while others simply want to explore a different wealth-building strategy. Investors who may be attracted to this franchising model include those who are already retired or are simply unwilling or unable to work a typical nine-to-five.

However, this model of franchise ownership isn’t ideal for everyone. It can be incredibly challenging to start a new business while maintaining full-time employment elsewhere. Even with a supportive franchisor, the responsibilities entailed in getting your business up and running are time-consuming and all-encompassing, at least in the beginning. And for entrepreneurs who are used to being in the driver’s seat, absentee franchises lack a level of oversight and control that you will find with more hands-on business models.

While absentee franchise ownership may appear to offer you more free time on the surface, that advantage comes at a price. Most absentee business require more startup capital, particularly since you will have to hire essential personnel to run your business when you aren’t there. And then there’s the issue of trust. If you aren’t present to oversee your business on a daily basis, you must take special care to hire trustworthy managers who will run the company as if it were their own, even if they aren’t making an owner’s salary.


While you are financially steering your business as an absentee owner, you are charged with handing off daily responsibilities to qualified professionals who can manage the business with little supervision or oversight. If your ownership style is more hands-on, an absentee model may not be the right fit.

Owners and managers have very different functions within an absentee franchise. Managers are responsible for day-to-day functions while the owners stay mainly focused on the bigger picture. As an absentee owner, you will rely heavily on your managers to find and retain the right team to keep the business running. It isn’t always easy to hand off responsibility and delegate every aspect of daily operations. Still, it is necessary to be successful and stay focused on growth and expansion.


If you’re ready to become your own boss, Home Franchise Concepts (HFC) is ideally suited to owners who wish to be present, involved, and make the most of the work/life balance our brands have to offer. With over 30 years of franchising experience as one of the largest home services consortiums in the nation, HFC is a perfect fit for entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in their future with one of our award-winning brands.

No matter your goals, HFC is committed to supporting our franchisees every step of the way. To learn more about our franchising opportunities, contact us today.