Always wanted to start your own business? With a New Year laid out before you, now could be the ideal time to lay the groundwork for your next venture. If you’re not sure where to begin, look no further. Start a franchise and you’ll be your own boss with the added benefit of working to an established business model and having support when you need it. Let’s find out what it takes to change your career, and your life, by becoming a franchisee this year.
After the huge disruption of 2020, starting a business in 2021 may seem like a disaster waiting to happen. But now is actually a great time to get moving.
Firstly, it will likely take a number of months to get your business off the ground, so starting your research early will mean you’re ready to take the plunge when the opportunity arises.
Secondly, a lot of businesses have been extremely resilient during 2020 - just take a look at these examples. Many have adapted and grown their offerings, so we can expect lots of businesses will be looking to expand in 2021.
Finally, we know lots of people will have seen their careers suffer in 2020. Sound about right? If this rings true for you, then why not make 2021 the year you finally take the leap to have a career change with your very own business?
Franchising as a career change
Nearly half of people (47 percent) admitted to wanting to change careers in a recent London School of Business and Finance survey [LSBF]. Given that most of us work for 84,365 hours in our lifetime, it’s understandable why you may be craving a change if you're sick of your current job [Accountancy Age].
Taking the step to change your career is exciting, but it’s also daunting. The fear of the unknown and the worry of failing are very real, and can feel even more intense if you’re starting your own business. If these anxieties have been preventing you from diving into business ownership, franchising could be an option that suits you better. You’ll benefit from an established brand, tried-and-tested process and training on how to make your business a success.
That isn’t to say that running a franchise is the easy option. It still takes plenty of dedicated, hard work and innovative thinking, but you’ll have a supportive safety net to guide you along the way. And with the following tips on how to get started, you’ll be set up to make a success of your new year’s resolution to run your own business.
Tips on running a franchise
We’ve narrowed down our huge array of tips to the following six key pointers. They’re focused on the very first steps of starting your franchise, so you can ease yourself in gently to your new year’s resolution.
1. Learn more about franchising
The life of a franchisee is very similar to that of a business owner - you will own your own business, after all. However, the model itself is fairly different. You won’t have completely free rein, as you’ll need to follow procedures and guidelines.
Take the time now to research the realities of being a franchisee. Explore what you’ll be responsible for, where your liabilities lie and the kind of freedoms you’ll have. Reading our article on what it’s really like to be a franchise owner is a great place to start. You might also like to read up on the differences between a franchisee and an entrepreneur.
A new year is a popular time for reflection - whether that’s through looking back over the past year or evaluating our own strengths and weaknesses. Carrying out a bit of self-evaluation can be a helpful process for new franchisees-to-be. Ask yourself:
- What am I passionate about?
- What am I good at?
- What do I dislike about my current job?
- How much spare time do I have on top of family commitments?
- Do I want to manage people?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Even if you don’t want to manage people and you can only really commit to working part-time, there will be a franchise opportunity out there for you.
However, it is important to be realistic about the time you have and your skills to make sure you can stick to your new year’s resolution. Create a ticklist of all the must-haves you need in any franchising business, such as a location radius and maximum number of working hours.
>> 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. Research opportunities
Getting a feel for the kind of opportunities out there can really open your eyes. Did you know that you can make money by decorating properties for Christmas? Or that you can have a job teaching babies how to swim?
When you’re researching franchising opportunities, be open-minded. Try not to worry about whether you have experience in a certain job. The average person changes careers between five and seven times, and we’re expected to need to learn new skills as move roles [Careers Advice Online]. When you opt for franchising, you can rest assured that the franchisor will usually teach you the tricks of the trade. As long as you have the right mindset, you can learn new skills and make the business a success.
Researching opportunities should give you a feel for the kind of sums you’ll need to invest. But don’t let big figures put you off. You can often take out a business loan to cover it, or your franchisee may offer a scheme to loan you the money until you make a decent profit.
4. Assess your finances
You will have to invest a sum of money to start your franchise and you may have to pay fees on top as a percentage of earnings or to cover specific costs like marketing and equipment. The amount you need hugely varies between franchisees. For instance, the outlay to rent a store and establish a pizza oven may be far more than is needed to run a mobile cleaning business.
Now that you’ve researched opportunities and know how much capital you’re likely to need, you can start number crunching. If you’re seriously thinking about setting up the franchise, it’s worthwhile taking professional advice to find out what you could reasonably afford, the amount you could borrow and steps you can take to manage your financial risks.
You should have access to capital that will cover both business expenses for six months and personal living expenses for a year.
—Susan Adams, journalist for Forbes
>> Read more:
- 5 Advantages of Franchising for Young People
- 9 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- 5 Great Reasons to Become a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: Are You Ready to Become a Franchisee?
- Franchising 101: 6 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
5. Talk to franchisees
Once you reach this stage, you’ll be well and truly mastering your new year’s resolution. You should have your finances in order and have narrowed down your franchising opportunities, so you’re probably starting to get the excited buzz.
Now, you can start to take the leap. Feeling apprehensive? By getting in touch with franchisees, you can ease yourself in gently to franchise ownership. Lots of successful franchisees will be happy to talk you through their experiences and to answer any questions.
We also recommend asking if you can have a work experience day at the franchise you’re thinking of opening, to give you a real-life glimpse into what you future could hold. If you have a terrible time, you shouldn’t give up on your dream of business ownership - it probably just wasn’t the right opportunity for you, so keep looking.
6. Be practical
The reason so many new year’s resolutions are so difficult to stick to is that they were too difficult in the first place. While you hunt around for the right franchise opportunity, weigh up the pros and cons. Think about the training you’re offered, the time you need to put in, the capital needed, the brand itself, current profits, the sector, the guidelines you need to stick to etc. You can find out lots of the finer details in the franchise agreement, so scour this to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Remember to be realistic. If you think you’ll struggle to work far away from home or that you can only really afford to work part-time, that’s fine. Looking for franchise opportunities that fit around you will make your new business much easier to make a success.
Find your next business move
Ready to get stuck in with franchising? Take a look at the businesses currently looking for new franchisees. You’ll find a huge range of franchises, from pet grooming to sports clubs.
Alternatively, browse our extensive catalogue of articles and guides for insightful information on becoming a franchisee.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©