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Need help to buy a franchise?

Written by Richard Pakey on Tuesday, 08 February 2022. Posted in Insight

Richard Pakey discusses the issues facing wannabe franchisees.

Need help to buy a franchise?

Richard Pakey discusses the issues facing wannabe franchisees.

So you’ve decided to be your own boss? Now let’s consider your next move. For people in this position, there is one aspect to business that is sometimes overlooked: Operating a franchise can often be a much better option than starting a business from scratch. And it’s especially true if you do not have any previous experience of running a business.

So why is franchising a safer route to take? First, it offers a tried and tested format. Second, you receive both initial and ongoing training. You also enjoy continual support. These services are vital throughout the length of your franchise agreement, helping you from the moment you sign on the dotted line, to the launch of your business, and then up and beyond. A franchise is not necessarily for everyone but, overall, its benefits far outweigh any disadvantages.

Find a franchise that ignites your passion

Owning and running a business can be tough at the best of times, ask any business owner. It is not the same as being an employee, because there are so many more additional duties to undertake. It can feel daunting starting your own business. But by becoming a franchisee you lessen some of that load. In the UK there are more than one thousand different franchises to choose from, operating under a variety of formats. You certainly won’t be limited by choice.

So what sort of business will make you want to seize the day? Not having a passion for your work will leave you empty. You will become bored with every chore, which will leave you feeling completely overloaded and overwhelmed. Life will become tedious and, as the owner, it’s your head that’s on the block. This is no way to run any business!

You may want to think back to the days when you were an employee, and whether you did a job because you liked it, or whether it was simply a way of paying the rent, or mortgage, and bills. Weigh-up your feelings and memories, and then decide which direction you wish to travel. Make the correct choice and your life will change forever – and for the better.

Research, research and more research

Always carry out detailed, in-depth, research before you start any business – whether it’s a franchise or not. Reputable franchises will always be happy to supply you with the data you require. And they’d be disappointed and suspicious if you didn’t want to do your homework before becoming a business partner.

Sometimes, from the outside, it may not be entirely clear what exactly the franchise is, or what it does, or how it operates. Have ongoing dialogue with the franchisor, and ask to speak to some of the company’s franchisees. Ask about its products or services, as well as suppliers, rivals and competitors. How crowded is the market? Check out franchise directories, which list businesses by price and sector. There’s never enough information to consume.

Attend exhibitions

Consider attending a franchise exhibition. There are plenty of these about, with many nowadays taking the virtual route. Franchisors are always keen to showcase their businesses to prospective business partners. 

They should offer encouragement to every attendee who makes an enquiry, and are there to help and answer your questions. Developing a positive chemistry is so important when it comes to building a genuine business relationship with any franchise owner.

Talk to existing franchisees

This is also the moment you should ask to speak to a franchisee within the network. There maybe someone to chat to at the exhibition. If not, ask the franchisor to put you in contact with a few. Always best to test a sample, rather than just one or two.

That said, the franchisor may want to select the right moment for you to do this, which may not be now. Therefore, accept they have a genuine reason for doing this. There is also plenty to gain by talking to franchisees who own businesses in sectors that do not interest you – because it’s good to absorb as much information as possible.

You may even know someone, perhaps it’s a personal friend or acquaintance, who works in the franchising industry – or even owns a local territory. It’s vital to speak to as many people as possible, so you can draw up a list of the pros and cons of franchising.

Contact a franchise consultant

Sometimes you may even find a franchising expert that will act as your advisor – for free. This is because some franchise consultants are funded by brands to work as their recruitment representatives.

In these cases, you will have access to a team of professionals who are mandated to size up the correct fit for their ‘bosses’. Some consultants may even be signed up to several franchised brands, giving you even more information and choice. Consultants are experts in finding the best options for a budding franchisee, depending on their skills and investment level.

You’re never alone in the franchise world

The franchising sector is a truly wonderful space to be involved in. As a nation we are finally becoming more receptive to franchising as a business option, rather than the traditional standalone independent. 

Therefore, now could be the best time to join our industry. Not everyone is suited to running a franchise, but unless you explore the possibilities you’ll never know. Why not check us out in 2022.

About the Author

Richard Pakey

Richard Pakey

Richard Pakey is a franchising expert and Regional Director for the award-winning Lime Licensing Group.

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