Is Franchising The Key To Success Beyond Employment?
Many people aspire towards running a business, but very few ever go on to take the leap. After all, why would you give up the comfort of a full-time salary and employee benefits for a dream that – though very much achievable – is no sure-fire guarantee?
It’s the risk of the unknown that prevents people from taking the skills and experience they’ve gained in successful careers and transferring this to their own business. But what about when you’ve reached the top of the ladder? Or what if factors beyond your control suddenly push you into making a change?
For many aspiring business owners, franchising offers the perfect middle ground between the freedom of running your own business, and the structure that you’ll be familiar with coming from the world of employment.
Not sure what franchising brings to the table? Or want to know where to start when moving into this world? We’ve put together a helpful guide.
A Brave New World
If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that very few things can be taken as a given. For starters, the UK’s economic landscape has been shaken to its core. Not only have we witnessed our official Brexit departure and all it entails but the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown much into question. Now, many people who relied on a comfortable salary in traditionally ‘safe’ industries are being forced to return to the drawing board.
But this isn’t the case for every business. One person’s challenge is another’s opportunity. In fact, plenty of businesses don’t fall foul to fragile consumer demand. Some, actually thrive in the face of adversity – virtual businesses, for example, and those supplying essential consumer goods and services.
In an even better position are those businesses with a watertight, proven model – one that has withstood the challenges of previous economic downturns as well as what we’re going through today. For anyone willing to take what’s worked before and enhance it by leaving their own mark on a recognised brand, franchising is packed with potential.
Starting a business from scratch isn’t easy. Faced with the fact that 80% of businesses fail within their first 18 months, it’s hardly surprising that many people never follow through on their ambition to become their own boss.
Even if you did decide to take the leap with a start-up – you might wonder where exactly to start. Before you can get proof of concept for your product or service, you need to invest a huge amount of time and resources into developing that concept, coming up with a brand, and figuring out a business model that works to deliver it.
Franchising, on the other hand, is a business in a box. It’s tried and tested. Countless people before you have adopted a proven model and rolled it out across their territory. As such, you not only have a blueprint to follow, but confidence that you’ll reap the rewards of your investment.
Of course, not all franchises are created equal. As we’ll come onto later, finding the right franchisor is a critical step in the process. But make the right choice and you’ll benefit from:
- A successful brand and ready-made business framework. You don’t have to build the business from the ground up and make customers aware of it.
- Access to a network of business leaders who’ve made it work already. They know how to market, specialise and control the core value proposition. A good franchisor can put you in touch with someone for advice almost instantly.
- Training and support. You’ll benefit from all of their knowledge – which may span decades and continents. You’ll know the competition and how to beat it.
And, the stats back it up. Franchise employment grew by 70% from 2006 to 2016, despite the 2008 financial crisis. 93% of franchisees say they are profitable too. In fact, around 50% personally take home at least £50,000 from their business.
Is Franchising Right for You?
Franchising is right for every industry, but it’s not right for every person. In short, some personalities will thrive more than others in a franchising role. So before you start exploring the next steps, it’s worth having a think about whether you have the relevant traits:
- You like working independently, but also welcome structure. Franchisors set certain standards of service and communication, just like you’d have in employment.
- You’re not afraid to work hard and are willing to work long hours. When you run your own business, the work day is rarely the same twice.
- From common sense to the ability to connect with different people, you have a range of skills that can be used in all sorts of situations.
- You cope well with admin and find it relatively easy to pick up the latest technology, whether for organising your work or managing finances.
Do your personal qualities match up? Then there’s one more thing to consider – whether you want to open a franchise in an industry you’re familiar with, or if you’d prefer a totally new line of work. Only then can the franchise application process begin…
The 5 stages to a franchise bid
Every journey will be different. But, there are a few steps that anyone buying a franchise will have to follow…
1) Find your franchise
At the outset, make a list of the desired qualities you want the franchise to have. Specific sectors aren’t quite as crucial. You may, for instance, want an open-air, service-led business, even if your direct experience has little bearing on the job. And, don’t be put off by the costs at this stage. The more robust franchises typically ask for more in the beginning, but what you receive in return will be worth it.
2) Line your skills up
Like any other position, franchisors may ask for a CV to weigh up your suitability. Scan your professional background for anything that correlates with natural leadership, a good head for numbers, and creative problem-solving skills. There may also be a questionnaire to complete.
3) Join a Discovery Day
If the franchisor is interested, they’ll want to meet you. Most established franchises will run regular Discovery Days in which you can meet with current and past franchisees, tour the brand’s HQ, and learn more about how they operate.
4) Work on your business plan
The franchisor will teach you about the brand, its practices and values, working alongside you to craft a sound business plan. It’ll likely account for the first quarter, six months and year of your projected activity. You should also map out revenue and investments for a final presentation in front of the franchise board.
5) Obtain funding if necessary
You may have already been putting away savings for an opportunity like this. However, don’t let it put you off if you haven’t. Most franchisors have access to a lending pool. With their backing, you could receive a substantial amount of the upfront cost as a loan. Learn more about the financial implications of your investment.
Ready to Take the next Step?
Now you have a clearer understanding of franchising’s unique benefits and who they’re suited to, you should take stock of what’s out there. A number of businesses are waiting to be explored. But if you want a robust earning model – and a world-class service reputation to draw on – a Rainbow International franchise might be the perfect choice…
Rainbow is an award-winning specialist cleaning, restoration and disaster recovery franchise. We treat the aftermath of fires and floods, providing a lifeline for communities across the UK, while also supporting businesses with a range of cleaning services. That’s how we’ve turned our franchise brand into a global force, with dozens of branches in this country alone.
We’re always on the lookout for aspiring franchisees. So, if that sounds like you, why not get in touch? A Rainbow franchise is a business decision you can count on – regardless of the broader economic picture.
To find out more about branches for sale near you – with award-winning support – chat to Rainbow International. We may be the next step in your career you’ve been waiting for.