Is starting a franchise too risky?

After a few years of uncertainty and upheaval, we are still seeing some economic upheaval in 2023 so you might be forgiven for thinking that starting your own business could be a risk too far.u00a0

Is starting a franchise too risky?

The headlines are again talking about redundancies and job losses, with consulting giant Accenture axing 19,000 jobs worldwide and others following suit in the finance sector. However, for lots of other sectors, there is still a staff shortage, so the world of employment is nothing if not contradictory.

The argument over office based versus working from home is still raging too, with defenders of both sides demonstrating that there are no easy answers, different employers are taking a variety of approaches.

At the same time, according to Indeed’s Work Happiness Score study, one-third of workers report being unhappy with their work and one in every 10 employees starts feeling unhappy less than six months into a new job.

What all this does show is that being in employment does not give you any real security or control over your own future.  Perhaps it is no surprise that, according to a study from Oracle NetSuite and The Founding Network, a staggering 85 percent of UK workers want to start their own business, with 62 percent planning to do so in the next two years.

So, to get back to the original question, is starting a franchise too risky? According to British Franchise Association research, franchises have a much better chance of success, so we already know that a franchise is less risky than starting a business alone.

Some of the reasons for this include the fact that there is a tried and tested format to follow; training and coaching on an ongoing basis; a brand to give you a flying start and a network of fellow franchisees to add support.

But here are five other, less tangible, reasons why franchising should be explored by anyone who wants to make a change and take control by starting a business of their own.

There are plenty of different franchises to choose from as franchising is in a wide range of sectors. Different types of business too, you can be an owner operator with a hands-on role or a big-brand large employer with a fast-food operation – and everything in between. From activities for children, accounting and tax, business consultancy, cleaning everything from ovens to homes to offices, repairing cars and delivering pet food, as well as brands like McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Domino’s Pizza and O2 – there really is something for everyone.

One of the major benefits of having your own business is that you will be taking control and deciding your own future, rather than being dependent on an employer who will decide whether you have a job or a promotion and where you work. In these days of short-term contracts, zero hours and sudden redundancies, employment is not the safety net that it once was.

You will have more flexibility to fit round your family commitments. Although you will need to meet the franchise service requirements, you will be able to decide when and how you carry out your role.

You can set your own growth ambitions. Not every small business owner is looking to scale up to a larger operation, some will want to improve their work/life balance rather than grow. However, some franchises expect faster growth than others, so you’ll have to choose the right one for your ambitions.

The power of being part of a network of fellow franchisees cannot be understated, with others in the same business to speak to for support and camaraderie.

Only you can decide what level of risk is appropriate, but the support of a franchise operation can give you much more security than going it alone.

If you have a long-held ambition to be your own boss but haven’t yet considered buying a franchise instead, why not take a proper look and see if franchising can help you to realise your dreams.

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes