Have you got what it takes to be a franchisee?

A couple of months into 2023 and we've already seen an increase in enquiries from people interested in buying a franchise and starting their own business.

Have you got what it takes to be a franchisee?

A couple of months into 2023 and we’ve already seen an increase in enquiries from people interested in buying a franchise and starting their own business. The last few years have been challenging for anyone thinking about giving up employment and starting out on their own with all the upheaval of the pandemic, the economy, the cost-of-living – you can take your pick of the reasons why you might have hesitated.

And yet, for many franchisors and franchisees, the last few years have in fact proved very successful, with customers continuing to look for the services they provide. The support and training that franchisors provide, really helps franchisees to overcome the challenges that new business owners face.

We know that stand alone startup business have a high failure rate, but franchising can be a fantastic way to get into business for yourself, with support, training, and the structure that a good franchise offers. This gives more confidence that your new business can succeed and thrive.

Franchising covers a wide range of business sectors, and you can choose between a range of investment levels too; premises based, home based, management or owner operator. The key is making sure that you choose the right one and ensuring that you do your research at the outset.

A strong franchise should provide training, support and know-how, with a blueprint to help you launch and grow your franchise. However, in order to achieve your goals, you need to think about what you want out of your new business and what you can bring, in terms of your skills, ambitions and drive.

So, spend some time thinking about what you want to do and make an assessment of your own skills and experience. Would you look to stay in a sector that you know well or maybe this new venture is a chance to try a new start in a different sector?

You will need to consider your attitude to risk and whether you would miss being employed, with a regular salary. Owning your own business, whether you are a franchisee or not, will involve hard work and need lots of commitment from you in order to succeed. If you are not prepared for this, it can come as a shock when you launch your business, so give it plenty of thought.

You might be more entrepreneurial, keener to do your own thing, which could lead to challenges if you are buying a franchise. You might find it a bit constraining to follow the system and run your business the way the franchisor expects you to. The benefit of a franchise is that you have a system to follow and a franchisor who has ironed out any issues already, so if that is going to be difficult for you to accept, then franchising might not be for you.

The franchisor is taking a risk in allowing franchisees to represent their brand locally, so in return they will need you to follow the system and brand guidelines, you’ll have limited ability to make changes.

Before you start narrowing down your choice of franchises, spend time considering and assessing your own skills and ambitions, thinking about what you enjoy doing. Is there something you are passionate about which you can bring into your new business life?

Franchising gives you the opportunity to make a complete change from your former employment if you want to. Do you want to have a business that you can run from home? How confident are you in selling your services? What about recruiting and managing staff, is that something you want to be responsible for?

Be realistic about your investment funds, as that will drive the type of franchise you can afford. Take a good look at your personal income requirements too, as that will need to be built into your business plan in due course. Be really honest with yourself about your energy and stamina, your commitment and priorities. Running a franchise and building your new business will make demands on you that you need to be ready for.

Of course, you will need to do plenty of research and check out your chosen franchisor, they will also be doing the same, to decide whether you are right for them. A franchisor will normally ask you about your ambitious and future plans during their assessment process as they get to know you, so it helps if you have already given this some thought.

So, is it time to take control of your future and look at whether you have what it takes to become a successful franchisee? Nothing is risk-free, and leaving employment and running a business is not for everyone. But the challenges of the last few years have shown that the strength of being part of a franchise network has helped to deliver continued success across a wide range of sectors and types of businesses – franchising in the UK continues to thrive.

The route to a new life must start with you. Be clear about what you really want and give yourself the best possible chance of making your move into franchising a success!

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes