Franchise Success Stories: Inspiring Franchisees with Disabilities

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Your disability doesn’t need to hold you back, and a franchise is a fantastic way of running your own business with flexibility around your needs. Read on to learn why franchising is the ideal way for any ambitious businessperson to make a great living, and hear from other people with disabilities who’ve achieved success through franchising.

While many people with disabilities thrive in conventional workplaces, they’re not suited to everyone’s needs. If you’ve got your eyes on the position of CEO, and just happen to be disabled, go ahead and smash every barrier until you reach the top. But if your disability means you’re struggling to achieve your business goals as an employee, franchising might be the ideal solution.

Here, we’re going to break down how different franchise opportunities are the ideal way to conquer any limitations life has thrown at you and become the entrepreneur you’ve always imagined. And, you’ll hear from franchisees with disabilities who’ve done just that.

Workplace worries

Lots of people with disabilities get frustrated that their workplace doesn’t suit their needs. It’s important to note that your employer is legally bound to make sure you’re able to work as comfortably as your able-bodied colleagues. If they discriminate against you because of your disability, they’re going against the Equality Act of 2010 and breaking the law.

But, while most employers will try to work around your needs, lots of people with disabilities feel unsatisfied with traditional workplaces and working days, because they simply don’t suit them. Franchising offers people that don’t thrive as an employee a different way of operating.

Franchising = flexibility

Lots of franchises can be run from the comfort of your own home and don’t ask that you stick to a conventional 9-5 working day. If your disability means you struggle to get going in the morning, you could run a franchise that lets you choose your own working hours.

Or, if you struggle with fatigue and full-time working hours are too much for you, some franchises offer you a healthy income for few hours of work per week. Maybe you’re just sick of working for someone else and want to become your own boss, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your disability. Franchises offer the flexibility to accommodate every budding entrepreneur’s needs, whatever they might be.

So many of our franchises can be run from the comfort of your own home. You could choose to become a No Letting Go franchisee, helping landlords and letting agents manage property inventory services across your local area.

Or, you could launch your own commercial finance brokerage with Brokerplan, helping businesspeople access the funding they need to make their dreams a reality. You could even run your own cleaning business, either managing a team of efficient cleaners or getting hands on yourself when you’re able to with Happy Angel.

A supported route to owning a business

There are a record number of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. Unfortunately, lots of disabled people choose to start their own businesses out of necessity, rather than choice. James Moore, a journalist who has a disability himself, explained why this is the case for many.

“With some disabled people attending tens, even hundreds, of interviews with people who see the disability rather than the person, many end up setting up their own businesses because they don’t have any other option.”[The Independent]

It’s clear that much more work is needed in the area of overcoming prejudice and stereotyping for people with disabilities. However, there are ways for disabled people to become their own boss that don’t mean striking it out alone, unsupported and struggling to make a great living. A franchise is an excellent alternative.

You’ll be able to run your business the way you’d like, keep profits for yourself after paying a small franchise fee and expand your operations to be as large (or as humble) as you like. You can also pick from thousands of franchises in every industry from gardening to beauty to marketing to tutoring, so you’re bound to find something you’re passionate about.

Franchise success stories

Not convinced a franchise is the right opportunity for you? Here are two success stories from other people with disabilities who chose the franchise route to build their business empires.

1. Andy Easter

Andy, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, set up his own business with car valeting franchise Autosheen. After setting his sights on joining Autosheen’s network, the budding entrepreneur met with Managing Director Paul Fennel to discuss how Andy could be supported to achieve success. Andy explained:

“We discussed the potential problems, but positively. Paul’s approach was ‘how can we overcome this together?’. I was impressed by his ‘can do’ attitude – and I think he was equally impressed with mine.”

Now, Andy’s business is booming and he encourages others with disabilities to look into joining a franchise.

“My initial expectations for my Autosheen franchise were quite modest, if I broke even at the end of the first year that would be pretty good as I knew I would need more time than average to process each car. However, I’ve achieved a respectable profit and have built a regular customer base of people who use my services regularly and recommend me to others. I’ve been told that I am an example to people with disadvantages, but I don’t take much notice of that. I just want to get on, make a good living and hold me head up high.”

He concluded by looking ahead to many more years of success with his chosen franchise.

“Next year is looking fantastic and I’m looking forward – with the continued support of my wonderful family and superb Autosheen team – to growing my business, perhaps taking on an employee and tackling whatever new challenges that may bring.”

2. Kirk Keating

After a motorcycle accident left Kirk paralysed from the waist down, he continued to enjoy a good career as an IT professional for more than 20 years. But after his employer moved its operations to a new state, he decided to take the plunge and become a franchisee.

Kirk found Game Truck, a franchise that offers video game parties to children from its unique mobile trucks. He now employs four people to run his parties for him, along with an education leader. Kirk is able to run his business from home and goes on regular sales calls to ensure his business stays successful.

Kirk offered some sage advice to other budding entrepreneurs with disabilities.

“Begin your search for an opportunity just like anyone else would; don’t have the knee jerk reaction of thinking about everything in terms of your disability. Do what fits your style and matches your skill set.”

Smash barriers with a franchise

Your disability might leave you feeling lost when it comes to your career, but as you can see, there are so many ways to become your own boss and build your business empire with your needs in mind. If you’re interested in finding out more, browse our directory of almost 300 franchise opportunities and discover the ideal franchise opportunity for you.

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