When one door closes, a franchise window opens

Redundancy is never a pleasant thing to go through. In career terms, it’s often seen as the worst thing to happen, especially when it’s a career you’ve worked hard to succeed in

When one door closes

With figures suggesting redundancy levels are on the rise to over 108,000 this year, up from 54,000 at the same time last year1, and with over 230,000 UK businesses looking into potential redundancies, an increase of 54% from this time in 20222, it’s no wonder times feel uncertain for many. Here, Frank Milner, Global President of Tutor Doctor, explains why redundancy isn’t always the end of the road, and why it can actually be an opportunity to start a whole new and exciting chapter in franchising.

One of the immediate effects of redundancy is the question it raises about one’s value. But the truth is, being made redundant doesn’t translate to a lack of skill or talent. In many cases, it’s a strategic decision made by businesses responding to market dynamics or organisational shifts. Once the initial shock subsides, it’s essential to harness this moment to reflect and recalibrate. Instead of viewing redundancy as a setback, consider it a springboard. 

Franchising offers a multitude of benefits and is a secure, stable opportunity to start fresh following redundancy. With a network of successful business owners around you, you’re joining a proven system which has been tried, tested and refined many times before. Franchising also provides support, with many franchisors offering ongoing training and marketing assistance during your setup as you start your new journey. You are joining an established brand, meaning you’re not starting as a complete unknown, but instead building from an already trusted and reputable base. 

It’s perfectly natural to fail to see your own potential, particularly after a big life change such as a redundancy. What is important is to note your own ‘softer’ transferable skills you didn’t know you had. By this I mean interpersonal and communication skills, attitude and enthusiasm which can’t often be taught. Often, the first barrier for prospects is that they feel they have no relevant experience in running their own business in the industry or sector in which they’re looking to invest. It’s simply not the case! Here at Tutor Doctor, some of our most successful locations are run by people with no prior experience in the educational sector but with exceptional expertise in other industries. In fact, 83% of our franchisees come from backgrounds other than education.

Being at the helm of Tutor Doctor, I’ve been privileged to watch many of our franchisees grow and flourish after facing redundancy. They’ve not only built successful businesses but have also impacted countless lives, fostering a love for learning and helping students achieve their academic goals. A perfect example of this is Piyush Gupta, Managing Director of Tutor Doctor Peterborough. He was made redundant after a career in finance spanning over 20 years. He spent most of his career climbing the corporate ladder in several blue-chip companies, but it wasn’t until he took redundancy that he felt truly motivated to pursue a career that offered autonomy and satisfaction, not to mention more soul and a healthier work-life balance. 

Seven years on, Tutor Doctor Peterborough is one of the highest-performing territories in our network, winning international awards and financially offering Piyush more reward than his previous directorship. Thinking back to where it all began, immediately after his redundancy, Piyush knew that his main aim was to find something that offered more fulfilment and enjoyment. He evaluated his priorities and assessed his skillset, and decided franchising was the best first step to take as it offered the security of a successful business model while offering him a fresh start outside the corporate world. 

It’s not, however, a case of just falling into a new business. Franchisees have to learn new skills, adapt to new ways of working and put in time and effort to establish themselves within the network and their local communities. If you have a tendency to be stuck in your ways, or struggle to adapt to a new system or technologies, it may be worth evaluating whether a franchise opportunity is truly for you. For many people, franchising offers the perfect silver lining in a difficult time when dealing with redundancy.

1 Office for National Statistics, 2023, LFS: ILO redundancy level (thousands): UK: All: SA

2 Caroline Baker, GQ|Littler, 2023, Rise in Planned Redundancies

Frank Milner
Frank Milner