Running your own business isn’t easy, but with franchising, it’s possible. If you’re able to drive and interested in working closely with customers - often travelling to and working in their homes - you could start a van based franchise today. If running a van based franchise sounds right up your street, these tips will help you to build a strong business plan and start your investment on the right note.
There are many different van based franchise businesses out there, across a wide range of specialisms and areas. In fact, a total of 3.4 million UK workers couldn’t do their jobs without a van [Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders]. If you’ve ever wondered how to start your own van based franchise successfully, you should know that a strong business plan is an essential part of the process.
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Building a business plan for a van based franchise
If you’re aiming to become one of the top van based franchises in the UK, you need a business plan. It’s that simple. This plan might be something that you share with potential funders and financial backers, or something you talk through with your franchisor, or even something you simply keep for your own personal reference. Whatever the reason for its creation, your franchise business plan is a chance to ensure you’ve covered and carefully considered all of the following key elements:
- The executive summary
- The business description
- The product/service descriptions
- The management summary
- The market analysis
- The operational details
- The business premises details
- The sales and marketing plans
- The financial projections and requirements
These elements are applicable regardless of the type of franchise you’re about to open, but there are certain tips you need to know that specifically apply if you’re building a business plan for a van based business. Read on, and you’ll soon discover how to create a business plan for your van based franchise that’s watertight, information packed and extremely helpful...
1. Include vehicle/fleet details
In the same way that a franchise with a fixed location would need to include business premises details, your business premises is your van/fleet of vans. Details about your van/fleet of vans must be thoroughly explained. This is particularly important to detail in your business plan if your transport is an integral part of your offering. Take the innovative and game-changing Mostro Pizza as an example. This franchise delivers pizzas to customers and cooks them in seconds on the doorstep.
This is all made possible by its fleet of specialist Isuzu Jiffy Banquet trucks, which all include a refrigerated storage area, a frozen section, a proving area and a gas-powered stone baked oven “operating at very high temperatures that will cook three pizzas in 90 seconds” [Mostro Pizza]. Mostro franchisees would need to mention all of this in their franchise business plan, particularly if planning to share it with potential funding bodies. Details matter.
2. Account for costs like equipment and vehicle maintenance
Though the costs associated with running a van based franchise are lower, this isn’t to say that they don’t exist at all. They very much do, and should be given plenty of space, time and consideration within your franchise business plan. The key costs to consider will be the equipment you use, and the costs associated with running and maintaining a vehicle (insurance, tax, fuel, repairs as and when they’re necessary, so on).
If, for instance, you invest with a mobile cleaning franchise like Prestige Oven Cleaning or WindowPayne, you’ll need to carry the equipment associated with the craft and you’ll need to list the associated fees in your plan. In the case of expert window cleaning network WindowPayne, that will include a “water purification system” and a “water-fed pole cleaning system” [WindowPayne].
3. Dive deeply into your niche during market analysis
Market analysis is an important inclusion regardless of the industry you’ll be working in, but given that the number of van based opportunities out there continues to grow year-on-year, it’s especially important in the case of building a foolproof van based franchise business plan.
Whatever your sub-sector or specialism, you need to dig deep and discover all you can about how the market is doing in 2021, and which challenges and trends you can expect to be faced with. The more you know, the better prepared you are to succeed in the long-term and outperform the competition.
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4. Set longer term growth and expansion goals
Speaking of the long-term: Don’t forget to set goals and plans for your business beyond the first year or two. Make plans for where you’d like your business to end up, and suggest ways in which you’d be open to growing. Your business plan is the place to set up measurable, affirmable goals. That way you can return to it, over the years, to measure your progress towards those goals, and to tweak them and reevaluate them as and when it’s necessary.
All top executives are long-term thinkers. They project forward five years and they think about where they want to be and what they will have to be doing at that time in order to achieve their long-term goals.
- Brian Tracy International
5. Don’t forget to mention the marketing advantages of a van based investment
This is a particularly important tip if you are planning to share your franchise business plan with potential funding backers. During the laying out of your marketing plans and strategies, be sure to give some space to the marketing benefits of a van based investment over a stationary one that ties you to a single premises.
When you’re driving a van around your operational territory, you’re advertising your business everywhere you go. When your van is sitting on the driveway at a client’s house, you’re actively advertising your services without putting in effort or active work to make it happen. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save on marketing just by being out and about, creating constant visibility. Don’t forget to emphasise this in your plan.
These business plan tips will help you to thrive as a franchisee in the van based sector
There’s plenty of room for your investment in the varied and dynamic van based sector, and as customers continue to value convenience over all else, demand is only likely to keep increasing. Now you know what you need to do, it’s time to find the right van based franchise investment opportunity for you. Would you thrive with a coffee van franchise like Cafe2U? Or a van based home improvement franchise like Access4Lofts? The choice is yours, and yours alone, but don’t worry - the options are plentiful.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©