10 Tips for Making Serious Money With an Online Franchise

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According to We Are Social, four billion people use the internet across the world. In the UK, 90 percent of adults have been online recently, and this figure rises to 99 percent when considering those aged 16 to 34 (Office for National Statistics). We can safely assume that the internet is a huge part of almost everyones lives here in the UK, and most people are browsing their favourite sites fairly regularly.

The prevalence of the internet and the technology that allows us to access it means theres a huge market out there for savvy business owners who are able to tap into it. There are plenty of online business opportunities to take advantage of, whether you choose to set up an independent company from scratch or join a franchise.

Recently, more and more online businesses have recognised the advantages of the franchise model and chosen to adopt it. Here, we take a look at how you can see success by following our 10-step guide to starting an online business.

1. Work out how the different types of online franchise differ

There are many different types of online franchises, each of which offer franchisees something different and require unique qualities and attributes. For instance, online marketing consultancies involve a great deal of customer interaction and require excellent communication skills.

A web-based retailer will need to be organised and have a good understanding of sales techniques. An online magazine franchise will be looking for individuals with a keen eye for graphics, a good story and potential advertisers. If you can work out where the differences between online franchises lie, you should be able to determine which one is right for you.

2. Choose your preferred work structure

One of the great things about online franchises is that they're very flexible. While some offer full-time roles, others will allow you to work part-time. There are those that require office space and those that allow you to work from home.

The flexibility on offer is a huge plus point for many prospective franchisees. Nowadays, more than two in three employees want access to a flexible work schedule, according to the 2019 UK Working Lives Report, so its a highly desirable working arrangement. As well as being able to fit your business around any existing commitments, its likely youll also be able to work more productively.

To get the most from an online franchise, you need to know how you want to work and what your priorities are.

3. Establish how much support you need

Not all franchises offer the same level of support. Some will guide you through the entire set-up process, but others will provide you with training and the necessary digital systems, and then let you get on with it yourself.

Its important you can establish exactly how much support youll need. You may be fairly independent, or you may prefer to have a little guidance. If you're not sure what specific franchisors offer, contact them and discuss the issue; its likely they'll be more than happy to talk you through their franchise package.

4. Decide on your ideal income

If youre trying to choose which online franchise business to go for, it can be helpful to know how much money you want to earn. Different people have entirely different perceptions of what constitutes a good salary, so you'll need to define your expectations to avoid confusion and disappointment.

The good news is that if you want to earn a high salary who doesnt? franchising is a great way to go about it. Thats because six in 10 franchise units make more than £250,000 in revenue (the British Franchise Association).

5. Work out whether you want to launch a semi- or fully online business

Some online franchises can be run entirely from a computer. Others are part-online and part-offline. For instance, Etyres is the UK's leading online tyre retailer, but the franchise also offers a tyre fitting service, sending out mobile mechanics in vans. On the other hand, Platinum Business Partners is an online retailer that carries out all its operations digitally.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but if youd like to minimise your initial investment fee, starting a fully online business could help you do this. As a minimum, you wont need to pay for extra rent and utilities if you dont have business premises. Whichever type of business model you go for, knowing which type of franchise youd prefer to join is essential if you want to launch a successful online business.

6. Decide whether youll go solo or not

Youll need to establish whether you want to start a business that you can run on your own or whether youd prefer to start a franchise unit that requires a small team. If youre content to keep your business operations relatively small or are willing to wait to expand, it may be best to go solo initially.

While hiring staff is more expensive than going it alone, your business will be more productive, providing greater profit potential. Also, if you choose to employ a small group of workers at the start of your franchising journey, youll have the resources necessary to grow and expand at your disposal as and when you want to.

7. Research franchises and their franchisors

You shouldnt choose to join a franchise without first carrying out extensive research, as youll need to make an informed decision if youre to start a profitable, sustainable business. This means youll need to examine the franchise's history and the current status of the business, as well as ensure your franchisor has solid plans for the future.

Dont underestimate the importance of knowing who you're going into business with before you take the leap, as itll pay off in the long run when youre running a successful online franchise unit. Never be afraid to turn every rock over after all, this is your future you're talking about.

There are a number of fantastic resources online, so make sure you take advantage of them. The British Franchise Association website is a great starting point; it has a wealth of useful information and only works with reputable franchises, so if your chosen online franchise is a BFA member, you know it prioritises ethical practices.

8. Talk to existing franchisees

As well as researching your potential franchisors, you should contact franchisees and talk to them about what you can expect from the franchise. Discuss whether the franchisor is trustworthy, what support you're likely to receive, how much you could potentially earn and how long it will be until youre profitable. Existing franchisees will have been through the process youre about to embark on, so theyll be able to give you a good idea of what to expect.

When talking to franchisees, remember that some individuals will naturally be more negative about the franchisor, while others will put an overly positive spin on things and overlook some of the more trying elements of the franchising set-up process. For this reason, talk to a number of franchisees to get an accurate picture of the franchise and its franchisor.

A great way of finding and talking to franchisees is to attend franchise exhibitions. These take place throughout the year and can be national, international or franchise-specific. Try the International Franchise Show London as a starting point.

9. Do your due diligence

Due diligence is the process of collecting detailed information that can tell you whether your chosen franchise is financially viable. While you do this, youll find out whether the franchisor is exaggerating the potential of the business. To perform due diligence, you'll need to gather historical financial records, ask for financial performance projections and investigate anything that suggests the investment would be risky.

10. Bite the bullet

Finally, if you're going to make money with an online franchise, you'll need to commit and sign the franchise agreement. More than half of UK adults and 82 percent of 16-21 year olds are interested in starting their own business, but only a select few actually achieve their goal. By signing the franchise agreement, youre on your way to realising your objectives.

Of course, this is an incredibly nerve-wracking time. But, if youve done your research and feel confident you have the skills required to become a franchisee, all that's left to do is sign on the dotted line!

Online franchise business opportunities

As weve mentioned, an increasing number of online businesses are deciding to adopt the franchise model, so there are plenty to choose from if you want to become a franchisee. Point Franchise is dedicated to bringing you the very best deals in the franchising world, and weve created a list of some of the most profitable online franchises.

Just click here to browse the current opportunities on offer in the online business sector. Youll be able to compare investment costs and franchisee requirements to find the ideal venture for you.

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