If you’re good at working with your hands, have a clean driving license, and want to be your own boss – why not consider starting a van based franchise? It’s a profitable sector with plenty of room for growth. To explore current opportunities within the industry and find out how to successfully start your own van based business, keep reading.
93% of franchisees in 2018 claimed profitability [British Franchise Association]. This should evidence the fact that franchising is an undeniably profitable and lucrative way to become a business owner at a lower level of personal risk. One of the sectors of franchising that can offer some incredibly viable low-cost investment options is the van based industry, and if you’re interested in investing with one of the top van based franchises in the UK, you’re in the right place.
>> Read more:
What does a van based business do?
There’s no singular answer to the question of what a van based franchisee does, because van based businesses operate across many different sectors of industry, and there is a huge variety of opportunities available out there. You might choose, for instance, to make a career change with a handyman franchise, working out of a van and travelling to the homes of your customers.
On the other hand, you might make a career change with a coffee van franchise, delivering mobile caffeine to customers across the UK. Whatever your industry, your regular tasks will likely include:
- Maintaining your vehicle/fleet of vehicles (depending on the size and type of investment you make, and whether your role is on the ground or managerial)
- Loading your vehicle/fleet of vehicles
- Delivering goods, products or services
- Collecting goods, products or services
- Planning routes
- Recording mileage
- Updating records
- Maintaining relationships with suppliers
- Attracting new customers and maintaining existing customer relationships
Why consider running a van based franchise?
With a mobile franchise business, your vehicle ultimately becomes your place of business. There is no requirement for expensive premises or the need to hire staff, helping to keep overheads low whilst creating excellent profit levels. A van franchise also gives you the flexibility of adapting your business to suit your lifestyle and vice versa.
- Really Awesome Coffee
In 2019 in the UK, 4.1 million licensed vans drove 55.5 billion vehicle miles [UK Government Department for Transport]. This alone should show you how many van based businesses are thriving in this day and age. Demand for services that come to you is rising as consumers increasingly prioritise accessibility and ease. With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to invest. Even beyond demand, there are many advantages to running a van based franchise business, including:
- The availability of low cost investment options
- The lower overheads and fees associated with a van (compared to a fixed location)
- The flexibility and portability of a van based business
- The opportunity to enjoy a dynamic and varied working life
- The opportunity to meet customers where they are
- The savings on marketing (because everywhere you go, you’re advertising)
- The access to ongoing training and support from your franchisor
How to start a van based franchise
If you’re more certain than ever that you’d like to start your own van based franchise, make sure that you complete each of the following steps before committing to a franchise agreement and signing on the dotted line...
1. Assess your suitability and find your niche
For most van based franchise investment options, you won’t need previous industry experience or managerial experience to be suited to the role. There are some skills, however, that will set you up for success as a van based franchisee and prove your suitability to this type of role. These transferable skills include things like:
- The ability to drive
- Passion for what you do
- The ambition, determination and resilience to succeed
- Organisation, planning and navigation skills
- Communication skills
At this stage, you should also consider where your skills would best place you within the vast world of van based opportunity. Do you want to enter the car repair industry, or the home improvement industry, or something completely different? Find your niche, and look for an investment opportunity that you think would allow you to begin a new and fulfilling career.
2. Research your niche carefully
Having discovered that niche and narrowed your list down to a pool of relevant van based investment opportunities, it’s time to do your research. Not just on the franchises that interest you, but on the market that surrounds these franchises. Market research is a huge part of making an informed decision about where to invest your money, and as you conduct this kind of research, you should be attempting to answer the following questions:
- Who will my target market be?
- How large will my target market be?
- Is there room to expand my target market?
- Who will my competitors be?
- How will I keep pace with/outperform my competitors?
>> 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
3. Find a financial fit
The final thing you need to do before deciding on the franchise you’d like to invest with, doing your due diligence and signing a franchise agreement is this: Be realistic about your financial situation, and about the investments you can and can’t afford to make. The worst thing you can do as a franchisee is over-invest by failing to be realistic, or by failing to account not just for initial fees but for overheads and ongoing charges. Here are some van based franchise cost examples, to give you an idea of what you can expect:
- 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 £24,500 and a royalty fee charged at 15%.
- ChipsAway - To become a ChipsAway franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £15,000, with a total investment cost of £29,995.
- Cafe2U - To become a Cafe2U franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £12,000, with franchise fees of £20,950, a total investment cost of £70,900 and an operating fee charged at a fixed weekly rate.
- Access4Lofts - To become an Access4Lofts franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £29,950.
Become a franchisee and enter the lucrative van based sector today
With the knowledge and confidence you need to start your own van based franchise successfully, it’s time to search for your place in the sector. Would you like to invest with a van based windscreen repair franchise like Optic-Kleer? Or a mobile coffee van franchise like Coffee Blue? Or a van based made-to-measure shutter installation franchise like Just Shutters? Whatever you want to do, there’s options out there waiting for you.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©