If starting your own home-based franchise has always been on the cards but you’ve never been sure where to start, follow these steps to get you up, running and thriving in no time.
Working from home was already a popular choice for lots of the British public, but with the COVID-19 crisis at full force, millions more are having to adapt to the new environment. If you find that you, in fact, prefer working in the comfort of your home without having to face the dreaded morning commute, you might even consider starting a home-based franchise as your next business venture. Then, during any future global crises like the once we’re currently facing, your business will be flexible and shouldn’t be hit quite so hard.
Follow these steps to start your own home-based business.
1. Assess your skills
Make a list of everything you’re good at; for instance, being a natural communicator, a fast learner or creative. When it comes to developing a business idea or choosing what type of business to invest in, leverage the talents and skills you already have.
Think back to your previous position and any roles you’ve held throughout your career and how you were able to add value to the organisation. If any key trends emerge, like being a great problem-solver, see how you can use these to your advantage with your new home-based business venture.
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2. Decide what type of business
If you don’t want to develop your own business idea from scratch, the good news is, there is a vast range of franchises offering franchisee positions that enable you to work remotely. This way, you can become your own boss and grow a business while benefitting from the franchisor’s wealth of experience and expertise – and, of course, staying in the comfort of your own home.
There are a number of sectors you can enter if you want to stay at home. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
- Tutoring – By becoming a tutor, you can help children in your local area ace their exams while sitting comfortably at your own dining table. They’ll come to you, so all you’ll need to do is make sure your home is presentable and conducive to learning. Choice Home Tutoring is just one franchise looking for franchisees.
- Plumbing – Of course, you won’t be carrying out actual plumbing services – you’ll be managing a team of employees. This means you don’t have to get your hands dirty; you don’t even have to leave the house. Take a look at Metro Rod for more information.
- Vending – We bet you haven’t heard of this one – become the owner of a vending machine franchise with Tubz. All you do is put your vending towers in areas with high consumer footfall and collect the profit made. You don’t even have to identify potential sites yourself, as Tubz’s in-house marketing team will do it for you.
3. Establish who your target market is
Ask yourself what segment of the population your home-based franchise is aimed at. Identity and research your target market to make sure that there will be enough customers who want to purchase your product or service.
4. Research the competition
Before you can go any further, you need to find out which companies are up and running in the same market so you can make sure you differentiate yours. Create marketing materials that highlight your USP and make you stand out from the competitors rather than blend into the background. You can gather information about your competitors by conducting a Google search, looking at their social media and analysing their physical marketing materials.
5. Make sure your business will shine bright
After collecting your data, analyse what your competitors are doing well. You will struggle to attract the attention of new customers if you offer the exact same products or service as them. So, your home-based business either needs to add more value or address a need that isn’t already being attended to. If you can’t offer a better solution, make sure you compensate with a better price.
4. Develop a business plan
Having a clear, detailed business plan isn’t just necessary for start-ups wanting a business loan; it’s also a very important way of finding out whether your business can be successful. The research you do when working through the business plan will make it easier for you to refine your idea and notice any gaps. If it doesn’t look viable, don’t be scared to start over – you’ll be glad you did further down the line. You should include:
- An executive summary of the business idea
- Research into your target market and competition
- Marketing strategy
- Financial planning and forecasts
- Operating plan
5. Get insured
The main categories of insurance you need to consider are professional indemnity, public liability, business interruption, employer’s liability, motor insurance and home insurance. To find out more about getting insured, registering your company and protecting your brand, you can find a wealth of information on the GOV.UK website here.
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6. Set up your office
A large part of your capital will go towards materials and equipment for your home office. While you may need more specialist equipment based on the nature of your business, it’s likely that you’ll need a computer, fast Wi-Fi, printer, desk and a comfortable chair.
7. Market your business
Your marketing efforts should demonstrate to customers how your product or service is different. Ask your friends and family if they can spread word of your new business in the local community and whether they know anyone who might be interested in your product or service.
While word-of-mouth marketing can prove very effective, you also need to create a website that has a clear description of your offering, contact details, operating hours, customer testimonials and links to social media profiles.
Social media ads can work a treat too. You can use highly targeted advertisements to reach the audience that is most likely to be interested in your business for much less than it would cost to advertise on TV and radio.
Starting a home-based franchise
By following these steps, you should be in a good position to start your own successful home-based business. Don’t forget, by taking the franchise route, you are supported throughout the entire process, often including pre- and post-launch marketing.
If you want to see what home-based franchises are available in your investment range, see another one of our articles here. You might also be interested in the latest tech trends innovating home-based businesses.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©