Could you be a successful management franchisee?

With over 60% of the UK workforce having ambitions to start their own business, franchising is certainly worth a look.

Could you be a successful management franchisee?

There is sometimes a perception that franchising is only either big brands like McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza, or smaller, owner-operator franchises where the franchisee is very much ‘hands-on’.

There is nothing wrong with either of those ends of the spectrum of course, but franchising has a lot more to offer, including a huge variety of what is known as management franchises, where the franchisee employs staff at the outset, sometimes with premises involved too. The franchisee will then take more of a management role, employing staff to deliver the goods and services offered.

These management franchises will still involve plenty of hard work but can make more sense for someone coming from a corporate role, rather than becoming an ‘operator’ or for someone who would like to build and scale a bigger business.

There is a wide variety of industry sectors covered by management franchises, including some that you might not expect, including both business to business (B2B) and consumer facing business sectors. Typical franchises in this category could be in the domiciliary care sector, franchises offering expense reduction services, commercial cleaning, coaching, recruitment, automotive services including Revive!, and many more.

There are a number of skills and attributes the franchisor will expect to see in people hoping to buy a management franchise. You may need to demonstrate previous leadership and organisational experience.

Other useful skills you could bring to a management franchise could include problem solving, controlling budgets, staff recruitment, a focus on customer experience, as well as team building and mentoring.

Think about the type of lifestyle you want, not all management franchises will operate in a 9-5, Monday to Friday environment. Some, like gyms or retail businesses need to be available evenings and weekends and although you won’t be ‘manning the tills’ you may well need to be available to sort out any staff or customer issues, particularly in the early days.

In addition, this type of franchise will often need higher levels of working capital than operator/job type franchises and office premises could be required instead of operating from home. Premises based franchises will often take longer to set up, as the right premises for the business and its customers can be a challenge to find so make sure your timescales are reasonable.

And be realistic about the energy and commitment you can put into to a new venture! Although you will have a structure to follow, support and training, you will still need to put plenty of hard work in to ensuring that your business is a success, particularly in the early days. Don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort involved.

If you are keen to take on a management franchise, here are my top three tips:

  • Examine your transferable skills, what can you bring to a management franchise operation. Sales skills and people management are key in this type of franchise so look at how your experience can help you in a new business venture. Remember that you are going to need to impress a franchisor, so it is important to demonstrate that you have the skills needed to hit the ground running.
  • Be prepared to roll your sleeves up as even though you are taking on a management franchise, you will be responsible for a lot of jobs which could well have been done for you if you’ve been working in a corporate environment. Ex-corporate employees will have the biggest change to overcome, as moving into a small business environment may come as a bit of a shock!
  • Listen to the advice your franchisor’s support team are giving you! You may have been running multi-million-pound budgets and heading huge teams, with years of experience in your previous corporate life but running your own business is a very different environment.
  • The most successful new franchisee launches are those where the new owner concentrates on what they’ve learned in their training, instead of deciding that they know best. It is your business of course, but usually your franchisor has seen all the issues or problems before and can help you avoid them if you listen.
  • That might be a bit hard to do when you are used to being in charge and telling other people what to do but remember, you have bought a franchise to benefit from the brand and systems so don’t immediately decide that you know better and change things before you have got your new franchise launched and growing.

So why on earth would you want to leave your corporate or employed ‘comfort blanket’ to take the risk of buying a franchise?

There are great benefits to franchising in general and particularly a management franchise where you can build and scale a bigger business. You will be able to take control and make your own decisions (albeit within the franchise structure). You can set your own working parameters – do some of the school run, make sure you don’t miss a sports day for instance!

And you’ll build your own team and instill your values to deliver the kind of outstanding service customers will love.

Importantly, you will be building an asset for you, not for someone else.

Running your own business is not for the faint-hearted but if you want to prove that you can build a business instead of being a small cog in a very big corporate wheel, then a management franchise could help you do just that!

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes