A new study by Queen’s University Belfast, based on census data over 40 years, has shown that renters and homeowners in England and Wales are far less likely to move than in the 1970s.
The research has found that at least a million fewer people moved up the housing ladder between 2001 and 2011 compared with 1971 to 1981. This indicates that there has been a shift in social circumstances. It appears that commuters are also more willing to put up with lengthy journeys rather than moving purely to be nearer their workplace.
Without a doubt, changes in the housing market have also had an impact. The rising cost of property and a shortage of affordable housing means that moving house can be much more difficult and expensive. Because of this increase in house prices, young people are more likely to stay at home with their patents longer while they save for a deposit.
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Good news for home improvement franchises
Although this survey confirms the issues that are affecting the UK housing market at the moment, it also highlights that among the best franchises to own at the moment are in the home improvement sector. While the cost of moving house is out of many people’s reach, homeowners are choosing to update and improve their current abode instead.
If you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, you may want to consider starting a franchise with one of the following property improvement businesses:
All Trades Network
As the leading building repair network in the country, All Trades Network offers reinstatement services for commercial and domestic clients, as well as for insurance companies. Because All Trades Network has access to such a wide range of professionals with diverse skills, they can restore a property following natural calamity damage or provide clients with a complete makeover.
This is one of the best franchises to own if you want to work in the home development sector but would prefer to take on more of a managerial role. You could be perfect for this franchise opportunity if you have strong business acumen, excellent communications skills and the ability to build and maintain good relationships with a network of clients.
On a day-to-day basis, you’d be responsible for managing your tradesmen and ensuring that your clients receive excellent customer service. A total investment of £35,000 is needed to buy an All Trades Network franchise. Previous background in finance and real estate is desirable, but not essential. What matters is that you’re dedicated to making your business a success and that you’ll continue to uphold the quality of the All Trades Network brand.
Mr. Handyman is a very similar concept to All Trades Network but focuses on the lucrative domestic repairs and maintenance market. Starting a franchise with Mr. Handyman doesn’t require you to have any previous experience of working in the home improvement sector. Franchisees come from a range of different backgrounds but have dedication and determination in common.
You’ll need to invest an initial franchise fee of £25,000, plus an additional working fee of £35,000. In return for these fees, you’ll receive six to eight weeks of ‘Sure Start’ training to prepare you for opening your new business. You’ll get help and support formulating a financial plan, choosing a territory, buying sufficient insurance and getting the right permits and licences in place.
Once you’ve got all the elements of your business arranged and ready to go, you’ll be enrolled onto a 10-day, classroom-based training programme. And the training doesn’t stop when you start trading; ongoing support is offered through numerous conventions, regional meetings and webinars. You'll get the freedom to be your own boss while benefiting from the backing of a reputable brand.
Trend Transformations is a globally recognised brand that has built a reputation as the leading tile makeover company in the UK and beyond. Rather than having to endure the expense and mess of having a new kitchen or bathroom installed, Trend Transformations offers customers an alternative – to fit durable, simple and beautiful tiles over their existing worktops.
Once you’re a franchisee, Trend Transformations will support you to make the most out of this lucrative market. You’ll receive comprehensive training, an exclusive territory, technical and commercial support, finance management and PR support. To help you maintain a professional and quality service, you’ll be given branded stationery, uniforms and product brochures.
The cost of this franchise opportunity varies depending on your ambitions for the business. If you’d like to open a display showroom at a garden centre, the franchise fee starts at £25,000. However, if you've got your sights set on running a more extensive retail showroom on the high street, the initial fee increases to £42,000. Finally, if you already have an existing retail outlet but would like the licence to use Trend Transformations products, the cost is just £17,500.
There's a franchise package to suit everyone, but you’ll need to be ambitious, committed and determined to make your business a success.
Like the Trend Transformations concept, starting a franchise with Dream Doors will see you helping customers give their kitchen a makeover at a fraction of the cost of having a refit.
As a franchisee, you’ll have the luxury of running your own Dream Doors branch without needing any previous experience of carpentry, plumbing or kitten fitting. This is because sub-contracted fitters are employed to deal with the installations while you focus on acquiring customers and building your business.
Once you’re on board, you’ll start your business working from home for six months before managing your own Dream Doors showroom. The franchise fee is £25,000, and you’ll also require a minimum liquid capital of £30,000. If you’re great with people, have the drive to be a success and want a new challenge, this could be one of the best home improvement franchises for you.
Ed’s Garden Maintenance
It’s not just the inside of the property homeowners want to improve when they decide to give their living spaces a facelift. Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest garden maintenance franchise in the UK, with 40 franchisees up and down the country helping their customers make the most of their outdoor spaces.
This is one of the best franchises to own if you have a love of gardening and the outdoors and want to make a living from it. It’s a low-cost franchise opportunity, requiring just £10,000 investment, so if you fancy a career change, have the desire to be your own boss and want the flexibility that comes from being an Ed’s Garden Maintenance franchisee, this could be the perfect choice for you.
Steps to becoming a home improvement franchisee
There’s more to starting a home improvement business than applying to a franchise and being granted the right to operate under its brand name. Becoming a franchisee is an enormous step, and will have an effect not only on you, but on your family too. So, what are the steps to start your own home improvement franchise unit?
1. Make sure the home improvement sector is for you.
It sounds obvious, but you need to be 100 percent sure that home improvement is for you before you join a franchise. If you don’t love your job, you’ll find it difficult to stay motivated and push your business forward over the years. If you appear disinterested, your workforce’s morale will drop and your customers will go elsewhere.
Therefore, you should ask yourself: Am I passionate about interior design? Do I enjoy keeping on top of current trends? Will I feel rewarded by helping customers create fantastic spaces? If the answer is yes, continue on to the next step to business ownership.
2. Decide which services you’d like to offer.
The home improvement sector is a diverse one. From everyday repairs to kitchen or bathroom fitting, to garden landscaping and even solar panel installation, there are so many areas you could get involved in. Work out what you’re interested in and what would be involved in a franchise that offered those services.
Remember, some franchises require you to take a managerial role rather than get your hands dirty, so if you have a love of plants but don’t fancy working outdoors during the winter, you may still find that a landscaping business is perfect for you.
3. Research relevant home improvement franchises.
The most successful franchisees take the research stage very seriously. You need to be sure that the business you choose will serve you well over the years that follow, and has the potential to be profitable in your specific territory.
Now you know which sector you’d like to enter into, you can search for franchisees that operate within it. Use our search engine to find the best franchises in a single category. For example, if you want to start a kitchen fitting business, you can look up all the relevant opportunities here.
Make sure your chosen franchise is within your budget and offers you the opportunities you want. Once you’ve found your ideal business, take the time to meet with your would-be franchisor, as well as existing franchisees, who will be able to tell you more about the opportunity.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©