Making a career change with a retail franchise is a fantastic opportunity to start running your own business with plenty of support and training from an experienced franchisor. The industry is thriving and bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic and, in terms of the right moment to make your investment, there’s never been a time like the present.
Working in retail is hard but rewarding work, often directly focused on the customer. If you love meeting new people and making customer’s dreams come true, you might thrive in a retail environment, particularly as a franchisee. Here’s everything you need to know in order to navigate your professional transition and invest with the right retail franchise for you.
Why consider making a career change with a retail franchise?
Though some struggled, online shopping boomed and consumer sentiment stayed strong. It might have been another tough year for retail, with challenges still ahead, but there are signs of optimism for 2021.
- Lisa Hooker, PwC
The retail industry is vast, combining high levels of demand with high levels of competition. From fast food chains to flower shops, you’ll be able to make a name for yourself and your franchise in a niche of the sector if you make the effort and use the support available to you. Even after a difficult year, you’ll find there any many advantages to choosing a career in retail franchising, including:
- A lower rate of failure
- Ongoing franchisor support
- Extensive franchisee training
- Plenty of diversity and options to explore
- Plenty of room to grow and develop your franchise
- An exciting, dynamic working life perfect for a people person
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How to make a career change with a retail franchise
Starting a retail business and investing in a franchise network is a big commitment, but with the right information and the right preparation, it can be the best move you ever make for yourself and your continued professional growth and development. Here are the four steps you should take, pre-investment, to ensure that your career change with a retail franchise can go off without a hitch...
1. Assess your skills and qualifications
Qualifications that will help you as you enter the retail industry include a Retail Team Leader apprenticeship and a Certificate in Skills for Retail. If you already possess this type of qualification, you’re in a good position, but if not, don’t fear - many franchisors won’t require you to have any industry experience or qualification in order to invest.
This is because you’ll be put through a comprehensive programme of initial training as you’re onboarded, smoothing over any and all knowledge gaps and properly equipping you for retail franchise success. You will, however, still benefit from certain transferable soft skills as a franchisee in this fast-paced industry. Before you head any further down the path of this potential career change, ensure that you’d be able to succeed by asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I good with customers and able to offer them quality service?
- Am I patient and calm under pressure?
- Am I able to work well with others?
- Am I able to delegate to and manage others?
- Am I capable of selling products and/or services deftly?
- Am I a strong communicator and negotiator?
2. Research the industry
It goes without saying that before making a big financial investment, it’s necessary to conduct a thorough amount of research. With an understanding of whether you’ll thrive in the industry, you’ll then need to take some time to get to grips with the industry itself. What is the competition up to? What are consumers searching for? What kind of picture of the future can you paint for the niche you’d like to occupy? Check out these 2021 retail trends shaping the industry right now as a jumping-off point:
- An increase in the amount of retail businesses offering ecommerce options to customers
- A continued emphasis on health and hygiene in-store post-COVID
- Omnichannel offerings
- A growing focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness
3. Narrow it down
As has already been touched upon, there are many different kinds of retail franchise out there, waiting for your investment. Your third step in the career change process should be to narrow down your opportunities and find the ideal franchise opportunity for you. It will take time, careful thought and research to do this but, equipped with an understanding of yourself and the industry, you’ll be able to get it done. Ask questions like:
- Are the initial and ongoing fees associated with this investment affordable to me/viable for me?
- How much financial support will I be able to access?
- What will be supplied to me by the franchisor, and what will I need to purchase/account for myself?
- What will I receive training on/support with, and what will I need to discover for myself?
- How easy will it be for me to pitch my own ideas, adjust my ways of working, and give feedback to my franchisor?
Make sure to give enough focus to the financial side of things, as the perfect investment isn’t the perfect investment if it’s well over your budget. As an example from the retail industry, an investment with Endura Roses requires you to put in a minimum initial amount of £50,000, with franchise fees of £15,000 and a total investment cost of £120,000. Similarly, an investment with CAVAVIN requires you to put in a minimum initial amount of £40,000, with franchise fees of £16,500 and a total investment cost of £100,000.
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4. Do your due diligence prior to investing
Your final step, which seems the simplest but might in practice take the most time, is that you do your due diligence once you’ve found that perfect franchise opportunity. Due diligence refers to the process of fully investigating a company before investing your money, and it’s how you ensure you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. Go through the following due diligence checklist, and you’ll know you’ve covered everything you need to:
- Review the franchise’s finance disclosure document
- Review the franchise’s expected turnover
- Analyse the franchise opportunity in full
- Find out how soon you’ll recoup your investment
- Speak to your franchisor
- Meet other franchisees within the network
- Seek legal advice (particularly regarding the contents of the franchise agreement, to check that everything is above board and as it should be)
Start a franchise in the growing retail industry today
This article should have equipped you with all you need to start your franchising journey. Now, it’s time for you to find and claim your spot in the retail sector. What’s the perfect retail franchise investment opportunity for you? Is it with a home improvement franchise like Apollo Blinds, or a bohemian fashion franchise like Noa Noa, or a second-hand sales franchise like Cash Converters?
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©