Mobility Aids Franchise- Join a Sector Worth Billions!

08/12/2018 18:00 | Start a business

mobility shop

If youíre looking to make your mark on a growing industry while itís still relatively young, look no further than the mobility sector. Here, we take a look at why a mobility aids franchise makes for such an appealing investment and what specific franchises are available to those who want to launch their own business.

The mobility industry

The mobility industry is growing at a rapid rate, largely because the population in the UK is ageing. Currently, there are approximately 308 over 65's for every 1000 people of working age. This means that roughly 11.8 million people are of pensionable age. By 2033, this will have increased by 40% to reach 16 million. Over the same period, the number of over-85s will double. Couple this with the fact that individuals are living longer and require greater medical attention later in life and itís clear that the mobility market will only continue to grow.

The disability equipment and mobility market are dependent on these older customers for business. Only one in five wheelchair users are below the age of 60. This means that the market for mobility equipment is growing at a remarkable rate. Approximately 1.9 million households contain one or more adaptions to their home and the demand for more general disability equipment is thought to have increased by around 12.4%. Of this larger market, mobility equipment makes up the most significant portion Ė an estimated 31% of the market is attributed to such products.

Amongst those who understand the changing demographics of the UK, it is apparent that investment in goods and services aimed at the elderly or ageing is likely to return substantial profits. For this reason, care services have become an increasingly popular target amongst those interested in establishing a franchise. Likewise, mobility centres and retail stores are growing popular on high streets and in shopping centres up and down the country.

Mobility shop UK

Currently, mainly small, independent stores and chains that limit themselves to no more than a handful of stores populate the UK mobility market. This means that there are considerable opportunities for a well-branded enterprise with a solid business plan, the ambition required to grow the company, and the financial resources needed to expand

As many of the products retailed by a mobility shop target older customers, itís essential for any would-be franchisee to consider how this market prefers to shop. In the vast majority of cases, a brick and mortar store will be necessary.

Mobility shop London

Though paying for a lease on a property may increase your expenditure considerably, it is a necessary expense in the mobility sector. Online shopping is not a popular option among older consumers, and the vast majority still prefer to try before they buy.

In a city like London, where property can be prohibitively expensive and may make such a business unfeasible, itís crucial that you perform extensive research and thorough due diligence. Check out the competition and look at how and where they operate. Then make your financial calculations, factoring in all expenses, and try to establish whether your business is at all viable.

Ableworld

If youíre considering a mobility franchise, your first stop should be Ableworld. As the sector's biggest name, it's a popular choice among those who understand the value of intelligent branding and great marketing. The business retails walking aids, scooters, powerchairs, stair lifts, and wheelchairs, but also offer many other associated products, too. These include adjustable beds, special kitchen equipment, and bathing aids, amongst other things.

Recognised for its exceptionally high standards of customer service and care, Ableworld has developed a large and loyal customer base. This has allowed it to expand into new markets and ensured that itís able to leverage its brand in all parts of the country.

Franchise history

Founded in 2001, Ableworld began life as a privately owned company. It expanded to encompass eight stores before adopting the franchise model in 2008. Since then, the franchise has incorporated a further 26 stores into the network, making a total of 34. Approximately half of these stores are franchised locations, while the other half are company owned and operated. The business has set their national target at 70 stores, which means that there are plenty more opportunities for any entrepreneur who believes they can make a success of an Ableworld franchise.

What level of investment is required?

To become a franchisee, youíll need to make an initial investment of approximately £25,000. However, to fully finance the business, youíre likely to need in the region of £80,000. This will ensure that you have all the working capital required to keep the business running through the first few months of unprofitable trading. If you need financing, some major lenders will be willing to provide you with around 70% of this amount.

What do you receive in return for your investment?

In return for your investment, franchisees can enrol on a seven-week training programme that covers everything, including product knowledge, digital systems, sales, engineering, and marketing. A considerable amount of time is spent at Ableworld head office and working with the companyís key suppliers. This gives all franchisees a good understanding of how the business operates behind the scenes.

Once the training is complete, franchisees will be allowed to operate under the Ableworld brand and utilise its trademarks. Ongoing training, support, and mentorship are provided for the entire duration of the franchise agreement, and the franchisor offers plenty of on-the-job training.

What kind of franchisee is Ableworld looking for?

The perfect Ableworld franchisor will be someone who has the desire, dedication, and determination to succeed in a competitive business environment. Youíll need to have good communication skills and be able to offer excellent customer service, too. While individuals run the vast majority of franchise units, it is possible to operate an Ableworld franchise as a partnership. For this reason, the franchise is a popular option for couples or long-term business partners.

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