Running their own business remains one of the number one life priorities for millions of people across the UK. They are attracted by the lifestyle, status, flexibility, money, and the chance to be their own boss, with all the freedom that comes with it.
But as someone that started a business in 1999 with just £500 in their pocket, I can definitely vouch for the fact that it isn’t all plain sailing. Hugely rewarding, yes; easy, not a bit of it. That’s why franchising is becoming an increasingly popular option for people that like the idea of running their own business, but don’t want the risk and overall responsibility that comes with that.
We hear from around 100 potential new franchisees every month, so I’ve learned first-hand exactly what attracts people to franchising as a career option. If you like the sound of any of these three reasons, then perhaps it’s time you gave franchising some serious thought.
Freedom and flexibility…but less responsibility
I’m not going to lie, being your own boss is amazing. You get the chance to call the shots, shape your own destiny, and keep your own time – it is hugely rewarding. It allows you to work in a field that you have chosen and have an interest in, and it is far more convenient in maintaining a decent work–life balance, helping with the school run and much more.
All of these qualities also apply to running a franchised business. Depending on the nature of the franchise the hours might change – restaurants involve less sociable hours, retail is more nine until five, but can include weekends – but a franchise will generally give you all the freedom and flexibility of running your own business.
That is with one small but crucial difference – there is far less uncertainty involved. You will need to work hard, and drive the business as if it were your own, but there is someone else sharing the stress and responsibility, which makes life much easier for you, the franchisee.
It’s a proven business model
If you are launching your own business or startup, you may be sitting on one of the best ideas for a business that anyone has ever had – or it could be a complete dud. More than likely it is somewhere in the middle, but the point is that you don’t really know until you have tried it out, so it is a much riskier option.
By contrast, a franchise is a proven business model. We operate nearly 60 franchise showrooms across the UK, which really helps address any concerns that people may have about the potential for success with our franchise. It’s still a question of people getting out what they put in – even with the best franchise a lazy franchisee that isn’t prepared to do the hard yards is never going to be a success. But if you choose a franchise with a good product, good support and an established model, then it makes the job much easier.
The support of a national brand
Running a business can be a daunting proposition. When you go it alone, you don’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off, get tips from, attend training courses with and of course, your business is not a brand anyone will have heard of, so will require a lot of marketing to address that.
Choosing a franchise, however, means you get support right from the off. A good franchise opportunity will provide all the training you will need, including everything from closing a sale, marketing and advertising your business, recruiting and managing staff, any technical aspects of the business, financial management and more. You’ll also benefit from on-going marketing support and the consumer recognition that comes with working for an established brand. It is in the franchisor’s best interests for you to be a success and they will usually provide you with all the assistance needed.
There is also the opportunity to network – both in-person and online – with other franchisees. That’s a great opportunity to exchange views, success stories, what works and what doesn’t, with businesses just like yours, but in a different (and therefore non-competitive) area of the country.
Franchising can offer a wonderful lifestyle and importantly, the chance to earn a fantastic income. For anyone that’s interested in being their own boss, without the ultimate responsibility that comes with that, then it’s an option well-worth considering.
Troy Tappenden is MD of kitchen makeover franchise firm Dream Doors, with showrooms all over the UK.
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