What is stopping you from buying a franchise?

The great resignation; the quiet quitters; the working from home backlash; all these headlines show that upheaval in the working world seems set to continue.

What is stopping you from buying a franchise?

Some reports suggest that many older workers who retired during and after the pandemic are now beginning to return to work. And there is increasing talk of younger workers opting out of the hard work and hustle culture to be a ‘quiet quitter’, which is doing the bare minimum at work, rather than working hard and pushing for promotion.

And a recent report from Gallup, the 2022 global workplace report, showed that only 9% of workers in the UK were engaged or enthusiastic about their work, ranking 33rd out of 38 European countries. 

There is also a challenging economic outlook and 2022 has been another year of uncertainty. It should not be a surprise then, that many people have postponed their dreams of owning a franchise. 

But when is it likely to be the best time to launch a new venture? Is it worth waiting for less challenging times? How will you know when it is the right time? Only you can answer these questions but here are some thoughts to consider.

If you have already spent quite a long time dreaming of being a business owner and looking at franchising as a great route to do this, you should consider what is holding you back, as this can be due to a number of reasons.

Skills and Experience

Do you lack confidence in your own skills and experience, are you nervous about whether you can work out what you need to do as a business owner? Review your key skills, have a clear idea of what they are and think carefully about what you would really like to be doing in the future, what sort of business interests you?

Franchising can be a much safer route into self-employment, especially if you have never run your own business previously. Your own lack of experience or training should not be a barrier, as a good franchisor will provide training and support. However, you do need to be able to give any new venture your full commitment and energy if you are to make it a success. Are you willing to do that?

Economic prospects

Another thing holding you back could be all the uncertainty around the current economic climate and what could happen in the next few years.  Although there is no doubt that the climate is challenging, economic cycles will always vary so there will always be stresses and difficulties. However, you have no control over this aspect so instead of letting economic issues stop you, look at the other factors which could impact your new venture. 

You should also be sure that you have sufficient funds to invest, always important for a business start-up but vital when there are economic headwinds to manoeuvre!

Preparing a comprehensive business plan will help you to understand your financial needs as well as enable you to request bank funding. There are a number of banks that specialise in franchise funding, so obtaining funding may not be the barrier you might expect.

What sort of business are you looking for?

If you are aiming to replace a salary and need to draw out a regular amount every month, you should take care that you are considering franchises that can support your lifestyle. For instance, is the business seasonal, which makes it more of a risk? Or is it a new service without a strong existing customer base to rely on, would you have to educate customers about the product or service before sales start to build? How much experience does the franchisor have, is it a well-established company with a strong track record and existing franchisees you can talk to? 

Do your research!

Comprehensive research into your chosen franchise will help you to become more confident in making the life-changing decision to start out in business. There is plenty of advice available to help you and a great place to start is the British Franchise Association, which offers a free online training course (https:/www.thebfa.org/free-online-training/)

At some stage, you will need to sign a legal contract when buying a franchise, so before you do that, make sure you get it vetted by a franchise lawyer – you won’t get it changed but you should be fully aware of what obligations it contains.

To summarise, there are steps you can take to explore franchising and to understand how you want to spend your working life so that you have enough information before you give up your job and buy a franchise. 

The risks involved in giving up paid employment cannot be overlooked, owning your own business is not for everyone so there is no shame in stepping back from this major step. But if not now, when will it be the right time, is 2023 going to be your year?

You decide!

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes