The prospect of owning a business can be thrilling one moment and stress-inducing the next; you’re looking forward to being your own boss, setting your own schedule and creating a business to be proud of in your local community. You’re also aware of the risks that prevent nearly three quarters of the 55% of the UK population whose dream it is to open their own business, from actually taking the leap.
There’s a sense of economic fragility in the last quarter of 2022 as we head into a recession, the official definition¹ being two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. However there are many positives for the intrepid potential franchisee in taking on a franchise business in difficult economic times; and there are those who are fully prepared to run headlong towards their next opportunity, remaining confident in setting themselves up for a more prosperous future.
And if you’re still reading, then it’s you we are talking to!
Whilst franchising is often considered a safe haven for the risk-averse, offering a safer bet for securing your financial future, it’s important to emphasise that not all franchise businesses offer the same degree of recession resistance – the sector you choose needs careful consideration. Education is both valued and prioritised by parents, and let’s face it, our children are probably the last thing we stop spending money on even during a cost of living crisis.
With the impact of post-COVID learning loss providing a significant boost in uptake of supplementary education across the board, an education franchise is a strong contender for many would-be franchisees – especially one that doesn’t rely on its franchisees coming from an education background.
Considerations in economic uncertainty
There are 4 main factors to consider when thinking about taking on a franchise business during times of economic uncertainty:
- The level of risk you’ll be exposed to
- Support and training you’ll receive to get you started and ensure your business grows
- Intellectual property you’ll benefit from by taking on an existing brand
- Cost benefits of buying into an existing business
With an emphasis on sector, education businesses like Mathnasium have much to offer.
In a blog post² from the British Franchise Association just last month, they set out the reasons why a franchise could be the right recession-proof business for you. You’re no doubt aware that franchises generally have a lower failure rate than independent businesses; they offer a proven business model that has already been tested in multiple markets. Joining a network that has built-in knowledge and wisdom for its franchisees to draw from offers a significant benefit and fewer unknowns than if you were starting from scratch. The lower risk of starting a franchise can also make it easier to access loans to finance your venture, all-important in times of economic uncertainty (and further validation of the franchise model, when the banks are willing to lend!).
Buying into a franchise business should provide you with Intellectual Property, something unique or that presents high barriers to entry for other market entrants. A Mathnasium franchisee is benefitting from tens of thousands of pages of curriculum, developed by teams of experienced educators and mathematicians over the last 20 years, combined with a methodology for delivery that’s been tested and proven on millions of children. And all this offers a unique benefit that cannot be replicated and scalable entering the market as a start up.
Training and support
One of the biggest advantages of franchising can be the initial and ongoing support provided by the franchisor. The best franchises provide franchisees with training in all aspects of the business before opening their doors. This can include help finding a site and fit-out, hiring and training the team, and managing day-to-day operations. Mathnasium invests heavily in their initial franchisee training and is followed up with ongoing sessions that include skills-based, operational, and marketing training to ensure your speedy and also sustainable growth right from the start.
There is an initial franchise fee you’ll pay up front, but opening a franchise can still be less expensive than starting an independent business. There are several reasons for this; firstly, the size of the network will often give you preferential rates on some of the systems you’ll need to run your business. Also, the franchisor has already assumed many expenses that you won’t have to worry about, including registering its trademark, designing a logo, developing a brand website and creating marketing materials. So you’ll probably see a profit sooner than if you’d done it yourself, regardless of the franchise fee.
If you’re searching for a franchise with a proven business model and ongoing support in every aspect of the business, take a closer look at Mathnasium. With more than 1,100 learning centres globally, we’ve been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top 500 franchises 16 times since 2004. To contact Mathnasium for more information, or to join one of our upcoming Discovery Days in London, click here. And if you’re going along to the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC in October, come along and meet the team in person on stand D160.