If you want to make a career change and start running your own business but you’re looking to reduce the level of risk involved, why not consider franchising? For a low cost initial investment, you could start a van based franchise and enjoy all the freedom of business ownership, combined with plenty of franchisor support, room to grow, and room to specialise. What are you waiting for?
There are around 4.5 million vans in current use in the UK, an increase of 50% between 2009 and 2019 [Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders]. If you’d like to start your own van based franchise, there’s never been a better time to invest. Read on, and you’ll find out how to make a career change with a van based franchise smoothly and successfully.
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Why consider making a career change with a van based franchise?
The franchising industry is vast and lucrative. One of its fastest-growing areas is van based opportunities, because these kinds of opportunities come with lower overheads but lots of room for uncapped profit. Plus, there are so many kinds of van based franchise out there, you’re sure to find something that suits you. Here are some of the biggest advantages to running a van based franchise, beyond those already covered:
- There’s room to specialise and find a profitable niche
- You can meet customers where they are and provide them with true convenience
- You can work flexible hours and be your own boss
- You’ll always have access to franchisor support, advice and training
- You’ll have lots of room to grow and expand your business with time
- Your startup costs will be lower, yes, but so will your running costs
How to make a career change with a van based franchise
Making a career change post-pandemic isn’t the risky move you might think it is. Not if you’re choosing to enter the world of franchising and start your own van based business, and not if you’ve covered all of the following bases and ensured you’ve gotten your franchise investment off on the right foot...
1. Assess your skills and identify a niche
When you’re looking to make this kind of investment, the first thing you’ll need to do is assess yourself. What are your strengths, from a professional standpoint, and what are your weaknesses? Do you see yourself in a managerial role, or working in a more hands-on capacity? Do you have any particular areas/sectors of interest? All of these questions will determine where you end up investing your money, and they deserve your careful consideration. Generally speaking, possessing the following skills will show that you’re suited to ownership and leadership, regardless of the specialism you end up selecting:
- Passion for what you do
- Time management
With a van based opportunity, you’ll also ideally need to be able to drive, navigate and route plan, particularly if you’ll be directly involved in service/product provision. Consider whether you have these skills and abilities and, once you know you do, dive more deeply into sub-sectors and areas that interest you. Look for skills you might be required to have in each of these, and keep measuring yourself against them to make sure you’re finding the right fit.
2. Find a financial match
Having found your area of interest, whether it’s van based windscreen repair (with a franchise like ChipsAway), running a coffee van (with a franchise like Cafe2U) or anything else under the sun, it’ll be time to assess the opportunities in front of you to consider costs and find a financial match. If the perfect franchise opportunity isn’t possible for you financially then, simply put, it isn’t the perfect franchise opportunity.
The cost of starting a franchise will depend on the brand name, size and location. The average cost of starting a franchise was £42,200 in 2018 [British Franchise Association], but given that van based investments tend to be on the cheaper side thanks to lower overheads, here’s a better idea of what you can expect if you invest with a van based franchise network:
- Agency Express - To become an Agency Express franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £12,500, with a total investment cost of £40,000.
- Coffee Blue - To become a Coffee Blue franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £4,995, with a total investment cost of £49,995.
- My Window Cleaner - To become a My Window Cleaner franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £8,000, with a total investment cost of £15,500.
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3. Do your due diligence prior to investment
At this stage, you’ve assessed your suitability and you’ve narrowed down the pool of opportunities that interest you based on cost, eventually coming to a decision about which franchise stands out. Now, before signing a franchise agreement and making a legal commitment to a company, you’ll need to do your due diligence. Due diligence is all about getting what you’re paying for, and you should cover each of the points on this definitive due diligence checklist:
- Review the Finance Disclosure Document (FDD)
- Analyse the opportunity in full
- Find out how soon you’ll recoup the investment
- Speak to the franchisor
- Meet other franchisees
- Seek legal advice on the contents of the franchise agreement
Due diligence allows the buyer to feel more comfortable that his or her expectations regarding the transaction are correct. In mergers and acquisitions (M&A), purchasing a business without doing due diligence substantially increases the risk to the purchaser.
- Corporate Finance Institute
Start a franchise in the profitable van based sector today
Hopefully, you’re leaving this article with increased confidence about the process of making a career change and starting a van based franchise in your specialist area of choice. Stay on Point Franchise to continue your research and find the perfect van based franchise investment opportunity. Check out the top three van based franchises in the UK, or discover five van based franchise business plan building tips.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©