Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, has some wise words for prospective franchisees who are thinking about taking on a seasonal franchise.
Some may view seasonal franchises as a part-time business that will only be busy as soon as the peak season hits. This isn’t always the case, and any franchise investment needs your complete and utter attention all-year round. In fact, many desired franchisee traits such determination, passion and vision goes double for franchisees who invest in seasonal franchisees due to the must needed airtight schedule and patience when building a business that relies on certain peaks. Here are three characteristics that you must have if you are to thrive in a seasonal franchise...
If you invest in a franchise that will peak during summer, such as organising outdoor events, ice cream trucks or camping, then comprehensive planning is needed to ensure that every advantage is taken to gain clients, as once the season is over you will be experiencing a slowdown in business. The same goes for those that have peaks during peaks in the winter such as Christmas.
Mapping out your business doesn’t just mean clients. Budgeting correctly will become an essential aspect to surviving your first year, as you might only be receiving a sustainable revenue during the high season. Organising an budget for your business which will most likely have year-round expenses such as rent, supplies and even staff should be priority number one.
If you believe that once your busy period is over and you can relax for eight months, then think again. For many seasonal franchises, as soon as the busy season is over, action needs to be taken straight away to build clients and secure business for the next season.
Many businesses book for busy seasons far in advance such as Christmas dinners or summer venues for conferences so make sure you get in there early. Your whole year should consistently involve client building, marketing and advertising until your busy period hits and you honour the commitments you have been making throughout the year.
The benefit of this is that you will have plenty of time to market and advertise effectively, and if doing the work right, clients may come back year-on-year.
Like many businesses and franchises, hard work is detrimental to success - especially at the beginning. Seasonal franchising may depend on reputation and recommendations, so the launch of your business will arguably be the hardest.
Being a part of a franchise may alleviate some of the stress and worry of trying to build a reputation and client list fast, as franchise systems offer significant support during the launch of your business to ensure that you have the best possible start. However, the rest will be down to you. Drive and passion for your franchise is the only way to be certain that you will succeed.
If you want to invest in a seasonal franchise then it is already clear that you have a passion for that particular time, whether that be love for the great outdoors or have the jollies for Christmas. The quieter periods may mean you have some downtime to hone in on strategy, build client base and optimise your work/life balance, but having a drive for something that genuinely interests you is a sure way to success - just remember to show that passion to everyone.