If you are considering buying a franchise hopefully, you’ll be doing plenty of research to fully understand what a franchise is and if it will suit you as a path to successful self-employment. However, on talking to our franchisees, we know there are some benefits they didn’t fully appreciate when they first bought their business but were pleasantly surprised to discover a few months down the line.
Buying a franchise is often cheaper than starting up your own business
Some people are put off by the initial purchase price of a franchise but they’re usually only people who have never set up a business on their own before. Anyone who has ever built a business from scratch, building a website, optimising it for SEO, designing the brand and logo, getting the business ranking on Google, retaining solicitors to draw up legal documents, employing staff, designing the marketing and advertising material, building up a social media presence across multiple channels and on and on and on. When you buy a franchise, generally, all of that comes in the package and for a lot less than you’d pay to do it yourself. Your franchisor’s business will be well established, so you’ll be buying into a brand with a history and a reputation that would take years to build on your own. So, before you decide to go it alone, do the maths, you may be surprised at the results.
Your fellow franchisees (or network, as we call it), are worth their weight in gold
Time and again a franchisee will start with us and a few months down the road they’ll say: ‘I didn’t realise how valuable having those 5/10/30 other franchisees to talk to would be.’ We call this the franchise ‘network’ and it’s true, it’s incredibly powerful, and many franchisees gain a huge amount from the support the network brings them.
Our franchisees love talking amongst themselves, sharing best practice, asking questions and discussing various aspects of their businesses. Sometimes we think they’d rather talk to each other than to us! They are your colleagues, all doing the same job as you, but, uniquely, not in competition with you. It can also help to have another franchisee in the neighbouring territory, so you can provide lots of real-time support to each other. If you buy a franchise, don’t be shy, jump straight into the network WhatsApp or Messenger group, introduce yourself and learn from those who have gone before, they’ve all been a newbie once before and will be very happy to help.
You are likely to get a higher resale price for a franchise than a start-up, owner-run business.
Granted, when you buy a franchise, you probably aren’t thinking about selling, but you should. Because a franchise is part of a network, a known brand with potentially a national presence, it is likely to sell at a much higher price than a business you started and grew yourself.
The problem with building a business yourself is that you are the business; people come to you because they know you’re good at what you do, so when you sell it, the chance is that they might go elsewhere because they fear the next person won’t be as good. That doesn’t happen with a franchise. Your customer knows that with a franchise, bar a different name over the door, nothing will change. The product or service you were delivering will continue to be delivered by the next franchisee, in exactly the same way, using the same methods and products.
Here’s an example. If your local McDonald’s franchise changed hands, would you know? No, of course not. The premises would look the same and your burger would taste the same. You’d have no idea the owner had changed. If, however, you had spent 15 years building up ‘Bob’s Burgers’, when you left, would customers be assured the burgers would look and taste the same? Could you assure the person buying your business that your loyal customers would stay, even if you had gone? No. This is one of the beauties of franchising and why we insist that brand standards are rigorously enforced. It’s all about the brand.
Franchising is a safe way of becoming self-employed – no two ways about it, but there are some hidden extras involved that you may not have realised, all worth bearing in mind when you make your decision to make buying a franchise your next career move.