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4 Tips We Can Learn About Franchising From Simon Cowell

June 3, 2019
4 Tips We Can Learn About Franchising From Simon Cowell

Another season of Britain’s Got Talent is almost over. With it, we won’t see Simon Cowell again for a little while – someone who still manages to make smart, decisive decisions live on air, and has come to define a certain side of the entertainment industry.

He’s an icon who plays by his own rules. But what can Cowell’s story teach us about franchise opportunities? After all, he had a hand in many successful TV franchises that have been copied around the world.

Cowell began his career in the mailroom of the EMI Music Publishing label. At the age of 30, he was promoted to A&R consultant. Then it was an ascendant journey to the first season of Pop Idol, and on to create a global TV talent format that has granted a net worth of $570 million.

We want to examine what he’s said about business, and how you can take inspiration for your own UK franchise opportunities.

1. Enjoy the initial challenge

In an interview with Global Academy, Cowell said that young business leaders should “just enjoy the getting there. You’re going to get fed up, you’re going to get disheartened […] But what I can say after about 15 or 20 years, is I learned how to do something well, and I enjoyed getting there as much as being there.”

Since a franchise business for sale may take several months or even a year to make a profit, you have to ride out the early challenges. Startups can take even longer to see rising wages because the concept is often unproven, so take comfort in the fact that an established business model has been through it all many times before.

2. Don’t live in fear with the right support

Cowell gave this advice a couple of years ago. “I prepared myself to be good at something where I wouldn’t have to have a boss,” he said. “You can teach yourself something good, providing you have a good mentor and providing that you’re patient.”

The very best franchise opportunities grant long-term, consistent teaching and resources right from the get-go. So don’t worry about not knowing enough from a technical or marketing perspective. The franchisor will help you every step of the way.

3. Focus on what your local audience wants

Any look into Cowell’s professional history reveals how uncompromising he’s been. For him, it’s not about taking too many chances on unknown elements. From Il Divo to Leona Lewis, he rarely experiments too much. There’s always a clear audience who are willing to pay for his pop acts. And while that’s certainly relevant for a franchise template since service guidelines must be maintained, it can also inform your approach to the customers you’re hoping to attract.

We suggest that a franchise business takes his lead, researching sectors that are the most popular or networking spots with the best potential contacts. Then, serve your target market as well as you can. See what competitors do well too – and try to outclass them, or become more specialist.

4. Stay receptive to everyone you meet

Another Global Academy interview shows how Cowell made a lot of his greatest connections: “If you really want to get good, you’re the first in and you’re the last out. And you listen, rather than talking […] You may bump into somebody who can transform your life, because they can teach you.”

Broadly speaking, Cowell’s advice here relates to staying open to new ideas – whether they’re from staff, clients, the franchisor, or even interested friends and family members. Being defensive gets us nowhere. If something isn’t working, speak to a person you rely on. Remind them of the reason behind it, and outline the challenges you’re facing. Ask for their honest opinion. Admitting mistakes is a great way to lead by example, as it promotes ownership of a decision.

We can learn from so many individuals, including the franchise team behind your next application. So choose Rainbow International for UK franchise opportunities in the specialist cleaning and restoration sector – request a callback for more information. Like Cowell, our ambitions are global. Yours can be too.