Want to start a franchise but not sure if it’s going to fit with your lifestyle or career ambitions? Turns out, franchising is more flexible and lucrative than most people think. Here are five (more) reasons why you should become a franchisee.
Many reasons drive people to become a franchisee. Whether you've always dreamed of being your own boss, want a business that can be run from anywhere or are searching for an opportunity that is rewarding even in a recession, a franchise might be the perfect fit.
While it’s not a total shortcut to success, the benefits of being a franchisee outweigh the downsides. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it’s likely you’ll achieve your dream of owning a profitable business within a much shorter timeframe compared to starting an independent operation. Not convinced? Here are five great reasons why investing in a franchise could be the perfect career move for you.
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1. You can run your business from anywhere
Many franchises don’t require brick and mortar premises, meaning they’re ideally suited to be run from home or as you travel. Even if you have chosen a franchise with fixed premises, like a restaurant franchise or retail franchise, you’ll still have plenty of freedom to tackle admin tasks from the comfort of your sofa, if you like. Once you invest in a franchise, gone are the days of shuffling onto a bus at the crack of dawn, or sitting in standstill traffic. You can pick your hours and fit the day’s tasks around your lifestyle, even employing staff to help if you’d like even more flexibility.
Considering our ‘new normal’ now seems to be working from home whenever we can, starting a business that can already adapt to any kind of setting is a great idea. Hopefully none of us will experience a situation like COVID-19 again in our lifetimes, but running a business that works from an office, your living room, a bed or on a plane will mean you can succeed no matter what life throws at you. If a home-based or van-based franchise sounds appealing, we’ve got plenty of exciting opportunities.
2. You could be more resistant to financial downturns
Now, it’s important to note that no business opportunity, franchise or not, is completely resistant to recessions or tough trading periods. However, there are lots of factors that make franchises uniquely resilient in the face of a difficult time. Most importantly, the franchise you choose has managed to succeed in at least one other location, indicating it’s likely a solid business concept.
The mistakes that an independent business owner may make when starting out on their own will have already been made by the franchisor. Over time, the franchisor will have developed a successful and robust business model and ironed out any teething problems before franchising their business. Many franchises have gone on to set up hundreds or thousands of locations that have stayed open through economic downturns, so it’s clear they’ve found the recipe for success with their franchise concept.
Additionally, franchising is a popular choice in many recession-proof industries. Let’s take home care franchises, for example. There are more than 12 million people over the age of 65 in the UK (18% of the population), and it’s expected that one in five (21%) of the country’s occupants will be over 65 by 2030, according to Age UK. An ageing population is one that’s going to require more care, regardless of what’s happening with the economy. Similarly, car and automotive franchises will always be required, as many people rely on their vehicles in order to do their jobs.
3. You customer base already exists
There’s another reason why franchises give you a better chance at success – customers all across the world will know your brand’s name. Many franchises come with a positive reputation and customer base that can take an independent business years to build up. (The queues for a post-lockdown McDonalds or KFC speak for themselves).
The good thing about most franchise brands is that they’re well-established and recognised within their industry. This saves you the time and expense of building up a reputation and building a customer base. For independent business owners, the cost of marketing and promotional activity to raise brand awareness can be significant in the early days.
Even if your franchise network is small, there will be at least one existing location you can use to increase your brand recognition and reputation. You can use great reviews from the franchisor’s store/unit/online service to show prospective customers why they should take a chance on you.
However, a good brand reputation doesn't mean that you shouldn't promote your new business to attract visitors. Make sure you still invest plenty of time and budget for your marketing efforts. If the brand recognition is already there, you’ll save money and effort on costly advertising campaigns, but your marketing efforts will let customers know your new branch/service is in their area.
4. You’ll become part of an entrepreneur network
One of the hardest parts of becoming a business owner is how isolating it can be, particularly if you’re running your operations from home. You might feel alone and struggle to find likeminded contacts to discuss your business worries with, particularly if your family and friends have chosen to stick to employment. Luckily, a franchise comes with a network of ambitious business owners, industry experts and support staff that you can talk about anything with.
Many franchises host networking events for their networks, where franchisees can chat through any problems with their peers. Others have a dedicated online space, with forums for franchisees to air worries, successes and tips for everyone else to advise on, learn from and utilise. If you’re part of a smaller franchise network, you’ll likely get to speak with your franchisor directly and pick the brains of an experienced entrepreneur who was once in your exact position.
In an increasingly isolated world, it’s so vital that you build up a great network of contacts who understand what you’re going through. So if you’re not great at networking but would love to have access to some of the country’s brightest business minds, a franchise is a fantastic choice.
5. Franchising is a safer route to business ownership
For over two decades, franchising has proven to be a statistically safer route to becoming the boss. According to the 2018 British Franchise Association (bfa) NatWest Franchise Survey, 93% of franchisees reported profitability, while less than 1% of franchisors closed due to commercial failure. It’s also a route to business ownership if you’ve got all the drive, passion and work-ethic needed to be at the top, but just lack the idea – 50% of franchisees state this motivated them to join a franchise (proactive marketing).
As a franchisee, you generally have support every step of the way from the franchisor who has a vested interest in your success. The famous saying is also true that with franchising ‘you're in business for yourself, not by yourself'. You are part of a network of franchisees who you can turn to for help and advice whenever you need it.
The sky’s the limit for you ambitions with a franchise. Between 2015 and 2018, the proportion of franchisees operating multiple units soared from 7% to 36%. And the traditional stereotype of a businessman as an older male isn’t true in the world of franchising, as the bfa’s survey found that 30% of franchisees are women and 18% are under the age of 30.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
Franchise your way to success
As you can see, there are loads of exciting reasons why starting a franchise could be the best decision you ever make. While it won’t be a journey without its challenges, those willing to put in the hours will reap the rewards of franchising. Ready to take the plunge? Browse our UK franchise directory to find the perfect opportunity for you.
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©