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Could a franchise enable you to take control of your future?

Written by Cathryn Hayes on Tuesday, 09 March 2021. Posted in Insight

Fed up at work, on furlough or made redundant? Could a franchise provide the chance to take control of your own future?

Could a franchise enable you to take control of your future?

Fed up at work, on furlough or made redundant? Could a franchise provide the chance to take control of your own future? More people are thinking about franchising as a way to take control by starting a business, instead of being tied to corporate life.

Being in business for yourself is not for everyone and is not for the faint-hearted as you will no longer enjoy the benefit of a regular salary, workplace pension or paid holidays and sick leave. But having more control over your future and how you choose to spend your working day, can be very attractive in these challenging and uncertain times.

If you have never looked at franchising before, there are some key considerations you should take into account before taking the plunge.

  • Take a good look at yourself before you start. What do you want to do every day, what do you enjoy? What skills do you have, how can your work experience help you in any new business venture? 
  • How motivated are you to succeed? Although a franchise will give you a framework and structure as well as support and training, you will need to drive your business forward. It will not be a success without your energy and commitment. 
  • What is your attitude to risk? Are you willing to walk away from a regular salary to take the chance on a business of your own?
  • How much money do you have to put into a franchise? Be realistic about what you can afford. There is a wide range of different franchises with varying investment costs. How much do you need to draw out of the business every month to cover your bills? 
  • Do you want to manage staff or would you prefer to be a ‘hands on’ operator? This is a key consideration as it will start to narrow down the franchises for you to choose from.
  • How much do you know about franchising and how it works in practice? The British Franchise Association have a great (free!) online training course you can do, which will really help you to understand the franchisee/franchisor relationship and what is involved. 

These questions will help you to understand your personal priorities, before you start to narrow things down and decide which franchise is the one for you.

Once you have spent some time looking at your own ambitions and priorities, you can start to look at franchises that meet your requirements. If you prefer to be more hands-on and don’t want to employ staff, you’ll need to look at ‘operator’ franchises. Do you want to have a mobile business, or work with children, or maybe you would like to run a creative business in the arts? There are so many choices, which is why it is important for you to understand what you are really interested in.

Management franchises, where the owner employs staff to deliver the sale or services, also offer a really wide range of options, from cleaning services, care providers, business coaches, training, automotive services. 

Fast food and retail franchises normally offer a big brand name but will involve a much higher investment level, with premises and equipment needed to get started.

Once you’ve decided on the type of franchise you are looking for, you can really start to narrow down the choices, contacting franchisors to get more information and attending their discovery days. 

Always remember that franchisors will be assessing you as much as you will be checking them out. So, whilst you explore what the franchise offers in terms of training and support, make sure that you also give a good impression of yourself. 

Taking the time to examine your skills, finances and priorities will give you the best opportunity of demonstrating how you can bring your experience, energy and ambition to a new franchise operation. This in turn, should ensure that your chosen franchisors will see you as a good ‘fit’ for their network so you are awarded the franchise you want.

About the Author

Cathryn Hayes

Cathryn is franchise director at Revive! Auto Innovations and has over 20 years of franchising experience. She was previously head of franchising at HSBC, as well as head of business support at the British Franchise Association. She has a high profile within the franchise industry, contributing regular articles to the franchise press and other business media. For many years she was a judge for the BFA/HSBC Franchise Awards.

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