Become a Franchisee and Avoid the Challenges of Business Ownership

05/04/2018 17:30 | Start a business

Become a franchisee and avoid the challenges of running a business

The life of a business owner is perfect. Choosing when to work and where to work from, even deciding to work in pyjamas if the mood takes them. Although becoming the boss is a dream come true for many entrepreneurs, owning a business can be far from perfect at times.

With the freedom and flexibility of being a business owner comes the issues and obstacles that need to be overcome every day. But could some of these challenges be avoided by investing in a franchise business model? Franchise companies have many benefits which can make becoming an entrepreneur much less stressful.

Here are five challenges that can be avoided by becoming a franchisee.

1. Uncertainty

Economic uncertainty is a big concern for entrepreneurs who take on small business opportunities. This can lead to business owners steering clear of making long-term plans, preferring to focus on shorter-term goals. This may seem to be a sensible decision in the moment, but failure to develop a plan that considers the future can result in the value of the business being negatively impacted. As tough as it is, business owners need to understand the importance of balancing the need for more immediate, short-term plans with the necessity for educated, long-term objectives.

Businesses in the UK are currently being impacted by both political and economic uncertainty that Brexit has caused. Couple this with the ever-evolving technological landscape and business owners are left overwhelmed by change. The key to longevity is the ability to react to these changes. But to do this, you need a proactive, innovative business, underpinned by a robust, stable foundation to allow the company to keep trading at times of uncertainty.

This is what a franchise business model can offer. Franchise companies have a proven concept that has been improved over time by the franchisor. This makes a franchise pretty recession proof and a much more secure option than other small business opportunities.

2. No clear standards

When a new business is started, a lot of the processes and procedures develop organically over time. The need for well-documented control systems and operation manuals may be viewed as unnecessary, particularly for one man band' businesses.

But its not enough to have high standards without developing the control systems that make certain that these standards are met. Without the controls, you may have good intentions but experience bad results.

However, the whole foundation of the franchise system is built on the rules and obligations that the franchisee must adhere to which are defined in the franchise agreement. To be successful, you must follow the proven business model. While some entrepreneurs claim that this stifles innovation, it also breeds uniformity and consistency which results in customers trusting, and therefore remaining loyal to the brand.

3. Limited marketing

Knowing how to effectively market to potential customers at the same time as retaining your existing customers can be tricky. Trying to find the right marketing channels is critical for businesses to be successful. This can lead to business owners spending more time trying to work out how to go the extra mile to keep existing customers while attempting to win over new customers in the most cost-effective way. All of this without trying to compete solely on price, which inevitably ends up being a race to the bottom.

Whereas having the support of established and recognisable franchise companies takes away a lot of this concern. As a franchisee, not only do you achieve increased brand awareness, but the franchisor generally has a marketing strategy that you and your business will benefit from. It's very common for franchisors to charge an ongoing marketing or advertising fee which all franchisees contribute towards. This enables expensive brand-level marketing campaigns to be invested in, which you couldn't afford to fund alone.

You'll also receive support to promote your business through local marketing activity. The initial training that you receive usually includes an element of marketing guidance to help you market effectively to your target audience. The national advertising combined with local level promotion is very successful and offers you an edge over your competitors.

4. Lack of knowledge

Small business opportunities can be very appealing. Running your own business doing something you love is a great way to earn a living. Unfortunately, the reality of being a business owner is not quite so straightforward.

As an entrepreneur, you have to wear many different hats. From sales and marketing to recruitment and people management. As the boss, you're responsible for every aspect of your business. Of course, you can outsource the activities that you're least experienced at, but for a company just starting out, these are costs that can make the route to profitability tough.

Thankfully, when you invest in a franchise, you receive training before you launch your new business. Many franchises don't require their franchisees to have previous experience of business ownership or even a background in the particular industry. The comprehensive training packages that are offered include information needed to operate the franchise, as well as generic business skills that are essential to become a successful franchisee.

And once you're up and running, the support doesn't stop. The franchisor and their support team are on hand to provide ongoing training and advice as and when it's needed. The safety net of knowing that a knowledgeable and experienced team are backing you is very powerful - particularly for novice franchisees.

5. Fear of failure

The main thing that keeps any business owner awake at night is the fear of failure. Very often blood, sweat and tears will have been invested in a business, and the thought of it all coming to an end is difficult to accept. When times get tough, it can be easy for thoughts to turn to quitting when there is no support network to offer help and advice.

This is where the famous franchising saying is proven. As a franchisee, you're said to be 'in business for yourself, not by yourself. With the support of the franchisor and other franchisees within the network, feelings of self-doubt can be overcome.

Franchising certainly isn't for everyone, but it is an excellent way for franchisees to become the boss without the need to overcome many of the challenges that independent business owners have to face.

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