Smoothing the path from employment to self-employment

A great franchisor will help you avoid the potholes that come with setting up on your own

Smoothing the path from employment to self-employment

The process of starting a franchised business usually begins with a desire to become self-employed. At this point there’s plenty to be excited about. Research into finding the right franchise follows, which also encourages plenty of optimism and hope for the future. This enthusiasm continues past the point at which the new franchisee resigns from their old job and during the initial training, because there’s lots of contact and support from the franchisor.

So far, so good. But from here things can head in two very different directions as the new franchisee realises that they now run their business themselves. For this reason, it’s vital the franchisee doesn’t succumb to doubt and disillusionment so that they maintain their initial enthusiasm, knowing that they’ve made the right decision. Fortunately, an experienced franchisor will be able to successfully guide the franchisee through this critical transition from being employed to self-employed.

So how do they do this? Firstly, by having a dedicated member of the head-office team whose role it is to assist in all day-to-day operational matters. It’s even better if this person has hands-on experience of running a business themselves, making them aware of the potential pitfalls and problems franchisees might face.

Additionally, a key motivational tactic good franchisors employ is keeping franchisees in the loop. We keep our etyres franchisees constantly up-to-date about the goings on at head office and across the branches with weekly roundup emails, quarterly network newsletters and biannual regional meetings.

From a financial point of view, becoming a franchisee means you’re largely responsible for your own fiscal fortunes. It’s important you understand and accept this from the get-go. Unlike being in employment, the buck stops with you and you have to face up to the fact that if you don’t make money, you can’t afford to pay yourself.

Outgoings, including rent, insurance, staff salaries and benefits, are all on your shoulders. But one of the main benefits of franchising is that you can ease the burden by seeking guidance and support from your franchisor and its head-office team, who are all there to help you stand on your own two feet.

In light of this, be prepared for some very frank conversations with your franchisor about your financial situation, expectations and personal circumstances. For example, if you need £2,000 to meet your monthly outgoings – such as your mortgage, bills and loan repayments – you need to know whether this is a realistic target when you launch your franchise or if you’ll need to subsidise this sum with the working capital you’ve earmarked for your outgoings.

Moving from employment to self-employment is a life-changing decision. But if you choose a franchise as your vehicle, you’ll be in for a much smoother ride.

Tony Bowman
Tony Bowman