Finding the right franchise for you

Whether it's from a desire to finally turn a long-held dream into a reality, to achieve more flexibility and freedom or a quest for more personal and professional fulfilment; franchising is becoming an increasingly popular route into business ownership.

Finding the right franchise for you

Whether it’s from a desire to finally turn a long-held dream into a reality, to achieve more flexibility and freedom or a quest for more personal and professional fulfilment; franchising is becoming an increasingly popular route into business ownership. And people are not short of options. As the latest results from the bfa NatWest survey revealed, in 2018, there were 935 franchise systems in the UK – giving prospects just shy of one thousand opportunities to choose from. So how do you find the one that’s right for you?

The choice might seem a little overwhelming, but the most important thing is to conduct thorough research and be methodical in doing so. Here are five questions to ask yourself and use as a structure:

Where do I start?

A good first port of call is the British Franchise Association, where you can find a wealth of knowledge and advice, as well as a directory of approved members. There are also a number of dedicated franchise magazines and several websites which essentially offer a shop window of available franchises, categorised by industry and type. Another way that many prospects find their ideal business is by visiting a franchise exhibition. Not only does this allow you to meet the franchisor in person, you’ll be able to attend seminars for valuable insight and advice to prepare you for business ownership. Ultimately, unless you’re already clear on exactly what you want to do, keep an open mind at this stage of your search… who knows what you might find.

What does it cost?

The cost of a franchise varies depending on the industry and operational style. Many high street banks offer business loans – for up to 70% of the investment in the case of Tutor Doctor – but you’ll still have to account for working capital and your percentage of the start-up fees. So, be honest and rational when it comes to affordability. Sit down with your family and work out what you can and can’t afford, both as an investment and as monthly repayments, before you start looking.

Will it support my
lifestyle?

The first 12 months of any new business is always the hardest. After that, the benefits will become noticeable, which usually includes having a better work-life balance. If family is particularly important to you, or you want to have more time to enjoy your favourite pastimes, then think about what the franchise does to help support that. Many franchises offer the chance to work flexibly, but it’s about finding the one that fits with your best interests and offers you the lifestyle that you crave.

What will I be doing?

The role you play in the business will vary from brand to brand. In general franchises can be split into two categories: a management franchise, where you’ll employ and manage a team and owner-operator, where you’ll be the one ‘doing the doing’. The majority of franchises are intended to be run full time, whether you’re in the business or overseeing it as part of a larger portfolio. For some though, the idea of only spending 20 hours a week in their business is a dream – which can be fulfilled by investing in a part-time opportunity; something knowns as the semi-absentee model here at Tutor Doctor. Not all franchisors offer this type of model though so it’s important to double check if that’s what you’re looking for. Semi-absentee franchisees enjoy all of the benefits of franchising, including the training and support, but they aren’t expected to be in their business full time.

Is this a business with
longevity?

This is something to think about from both a personal and a commercial perspective. Personally, it’s wise to consider whether it’s a product, service or sector that you’re going to have a continued interest in. You don’t necessarily have to have prior knowledge or experience of the industry, but business is much more rewarding it’s something you’re passionate about. The one thing that unites all Tutor Doctor franchisees is the desire to make a difference in young people’s lives. Commercially, you need to assess the demand for the product or service and the potential for growth. How will the model survive and adapt if the landscape evolves? Is the market sustainable – or growing even? How is the franchisor keeping up with digital and technological advancements? A good franchisor will be more than happy to answer and provide evidence to support all of these considerations.

This article comes courtesy of Tutor
Doctor
, the world’s fastest growing in-home tutoring franchise. Since launching in the UK in 2009, the brand has welcomed over 80 franchisees to its UK network.

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