Long before you get around to enjoying the benefits that running a graphic design franchise brings, you’ll need to put together a business plan. These plans are important as they set out the future direction and ambition for your business. If you’re looking to write a winning business plan, here are 5 key tips for putting it all together.
There are numerous advantages to starting a graphic design franchise, so if you’re looking to cash in on some of them, you’ll need to put together a business plan that sets out your ambitions, financial situation and future growth plans. But in what is a challenging and competitive sector, how exactly do you put together a great business plan?
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How to create a business plan for a graphic design franchise
Every business plan needs to have a number of key details in every draft. Oftentimes, the most important details are:
- An executive summary
- A business description
- Financial projections
- Product descriptions
- A management summary
- Market analysis
- Business premises
- Sales and marketing plans
While every business plan will likely need to feature some extensive and well-researched information on many of the above details, you will also need to tailor your plan to both the sector and your specific business. So with this in mind, here are some ways to put together the right business plan for a successful graphic design franchise.
1. Good research
Every good business plan - business even - starts from a base of solid research. You don’t necessarily need to be able to list off every major detail about your sector, but having a good grounding of many of the key and most relevant statistics gives your business plan the best possible chance of coming to a constructive conclusion.
For example, you might want to consider researching some of the biggest franchises and businesses working in the sector. Assess their strengths, weaknesses, growth figures, and anything else that might prove useful when it comes to setting up your own business.
2. Your financial situation
When you start your own graphic design business with a big franchise, you can expect to enjoy several major financial benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that financing the start-up and ongoing costs of your business is an easy task. If you can pay the costs up front, then you’re already in a great position, but for the majority, you need to consider how to finance your business.
The good news is that many of the biggest graphic design franchises, such as Fastsigns and Agency Express, have total investments well below the average cost of starting a franchise, which is around £42,200 [British Franchise Association]. And, as franchising is seen as a safe investment, many banks are willing to lend up to 70% of your start-up costs - providing you have a good credit history.
How you intend to finance your graphic design franchise is something to include in your business plan. It might be that your future growth will be offset by repayments, or perhaps your franchisor will even have its own way of helping finance a new business. But be transparent at all times when it comes to your financial situation.
Many new business owners have found that they don’t necessarily need a fixed premises to run their business from. Having such a location means that there will be plenty of rent and maintenance costs to pay. You might prefer instead to run your business remotely.
Running a virtual or remote business is an easy way to avoid many of the traditional costs of running a business, allowing you to focus on generating revenue and improving your profits. Not all franchisors will be looking for franchisees to run a remote business, but it’s worth including in your business plan how you and your employees will be looking to work.
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And, speaking of employees, you will also want to have some information on how you intend to recruit. A business is only as talented and experienced as the staff within it, so be sure to highlight what sort of employees will be a good fit for your franchise. Consider some of the following skills and attributes, and whether they would make for good employees:
- Collaborative working
- Good communication
- Desire to succeed
Finally, one of the best ways to make a success of any business is to offer a range of services. Rather than throwing all your eggs in one basket, consider offering different services with specialist requirements for each.
By working broadly, not only will you be able to compete across a few different services, you may also find a niche where your business will be the biggest. Make sure you can offer a few different things to your customers, and you could be well set for getting the most out of your franchise.
Build a business plan fit for an ambitious graphic design franchise
The business plan is an important part of any new franchisee’s journey. Get it right, and your business could be well on the way to getting the most out of this creative and exciting industry.
For other resources on the graphic design sector and how to run a successful franchise within it, you might decide to learn more about how to market your graphic design business, or what the average day of a graphic design franchisee might look like. If the graphic design sector just isn’t for you, try searching for different opportunities on the UK franchise directory for a full list for other franchises in other sectors.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©