In the past two years, inflation has been rising, with the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy prices meaning that employees in their thirties have never actually experienced a true increase in their earnings, as wage growth has not been keeping pace with inflation.
So, it is probably unsurprising that according to research by Oracle, a staggering 85 percent of UK workers want to start their own business, with 40 percent of UK workers who plan to start a business being 25-34 years old.
According to the same research, the top three reasons UK workers want to start their own business are to become their own boss (54 percent), gain more control over their lives (44 percent), and become wealthier (35 percent).
Yet we know that in practice, many are unlikely to take the plunge for several reasons, including a lack of an idea about what to do, as well as a lack of confidence in their knowledge and skills.
And yet, franchising could be a much better choice for many who are looking to change their future and take more control over their own time. It is something that people who are thinking of going it alone, who want to leave the workplace to take more control, should be considering.
If this is you, here are some thoughts to help you consider whether franchising could be the answer. Before making any hasty decisions, you should take some time to think about your ambitions and priorities and think about what you would really like to be doing on a day-to-day basis, especially if your work-life is not bringing you what you want.
Franchising isn’t necessarily an easier option; you will have support and training to help you launch and grow as a franchisee, but you will still need to work hard to make the business a success.
You don’t have to pick a business in a sector you know, you can consider a complete change of career, as the franchisor will provide training.
Think hard about what is most important to you at this stage of your life. Are you ambitious to grow a large, scaleable business as an asset for the future, with good potential for income growth? Or maybe you are looking to take a step back from the hectic corporate career ladder and improve your work/life balance? Or maybe you would prefer to do something more meaningful to you, possibly looking at the care sector or working with children?
Franchising has so much variety and scope to enable you to find a business sector that you can see yourself succeeding and thriving in. Options could include the big brand name fast food and coffee franchises, car repairs, property services, as well as commercial and domestic cleaning, swimming classes for children, recruitment franchises, gyms, coaching – you name it, there is probably a franchise for that! With management franchises you will need to employ staff, or you may decide to be a ‘hands on’ operator and work alone, often from home.
Is there a sector that you’ve always been interested in but don’t have the knowledge and experience in to start a business? Be very honest with yourself as you explore your options and priorities. Although franchising reduces the risks and provides support, you will still need to work hard to make your franchise a success and not everyone is cut out to be in business for themselves.
There are many factors for you to consider, but one of the main ones must be ‘what am I going to enjoy doing every day?’
Look at the British Franchise Association website (www.thebfa.org) which provides a directory of their members and other useful resources including a free online training course. Franchise exhibitions are another good opportunity to see the range of companies exhibiting, as well as attending free educational seminars on franchising while you are there.
Once you understand more about what is available, you can start to narrow things down, based on your preferences and ambitions, with an industry sector in mind which you will enjoy being part of. Many people take the opportunity of moving into a completely different sector which they find rewarding, rather than stick to their previous job or career experience.
You’ll need to think about how much you have to invest and how much you need to take out of the business every month to cover your personal financial needs. Money isn’t the only motivator for many people, but it is vital to ensure that your expectations are realistic and can be met.
There is more research to do before you buy a franchise, but this initial period of reflection about what YOU want to do, can help you to start to focus on the possibilities and opportunities that franchising could offer you.
If you are serious about making the step change from corporate/employee life with all its restrictions and lack of control, you should put exploring franchising at the top of your list!