Millions of us fantasise about quitting our job and finding a new occupation in the great outdoors. Although this may seem impossible to some, it doesn’t have to be a pipedream. There are many thriving businesses across the UK offering you the chance to start a franchise unit and spend most of your working hours outside in the fresh air.
Breaking free from office life and going outside is not only good for your body, but your mind too. And there are plenty of ‘outdoor’ franchises looking for savvy investors to take their businesses to new locations. When you think about working outside, you might get images of builders and other tradespeople. But there’s actually a huge variety of different sectors you could join if you want to spend time away from the office, so you can find the perfect role for you.
Let’s run through just six of the fantastic outdoor franchises you could join, and the benefits they offer their franchisees.
WALX is a community-focused walking group for people who want to socialise and get a bit of fresh air. This franchise offers more than the average exercise club; it’s professionally designed around different routes and takes people’s fitness levels and goals into account.
- Becoming a WALX franchisee: When you first set up your business, you can choose to have a more hands-on role, leading the walking sessions yourself. As you gain more members and your business grows, you may want to take on a managerial position and delegate responsibilities. Your members will pay monthly fees, allowing you to develop your business by incorporating a wider range of WALX programmes over time.
- How much you need to invest: The minimum investment sits at £9,995.
- What you get for your investment: You can expect to benefit from extensive training, tried and tested marketing strategies, online management and booking systems, ongoing support and so much more.
You may have never considered launching a dog-walking business, but if you want to spend the day outside with furry friends, take a look at Dogknows. This franchise is one of the first professional walking companies in London to incorporate everyday dog training into all outings. It coaches its carers to make sure they have excellent practical skills underpinned by sound, science-based doggy know-how.
- Becoming a Dogknows franchisee: Ideal franchisees should be good communicators, organised, honest and trustworthy. You should also be prepared to work in all weather, so get in touch if you’re prepared to be there for your dogs, rain or shine.
- How much you need to invest: To set up a Dogknows franchise unit, a minimum investment of £7,500 is required.
- What you get for your investment: New franchisees will take part in an initial 10-day training course, including five days of coaching at the Dogknows Training Centre. You’ll also get your own webpage on the Dogknows franchise site and have access to ongoing support and mentoring.
3. One Element
If you’re a fitness fanatic, this could be the franchise for you. One Element is giving investors the chance to offer bespoke group exercise sessions in local parks. You’ll get to be your own boss, receive the backing and support of an established franchise and have the satisfaction of helping people in your community keep fit.
- Becoming a One Element franchisee: You don’t need to have any previous experience in the fitness industry to become a franchisee, as long as you’re ambitious, driven and committed to making your business a success.
- How much you need to invest: For a total investment of just £16,000, you can combine your passion for fitness with the freedom and flexibility of running your own business.
- What you get for your investment: Before you start a franchise unit, you’ll attend an in-depth training programme in London. This is to make sure you fully understand the science behind the One Element fitness programmes, so you can offer effective and consistent classes.
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4. Ed’s Garden Maintenance
Those with green fingers might want to consider creating a gardening business. There are many franchises to choose from in this sector, specialising in everything from lawn treatment to tree stump removal to fencing.
Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the UK's largest gardening franchise and a great prospect if you’ve got your heart set on running a traditional horticultural business. It has developed a network of more than 35 franchisees growing successful businesses across the country.
- Becoming an Ed’s Garden Maintenance franchisee: When you join this franchise, you’ll be in control of your own timetable. You can even run your business part-time alongside another project or just spend more time with your family. What’s more, jobs are priced individually rather than per hour, so you’re not restricted by a low hourly rate.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need £15,000 to set up your own Ed’s Garden Maintenance business.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll get all the support and training you’ll need to promote your franchise and build a local customer base. You’ll also have access to a central administration centre providing a constant flow of customer enquiries.
>> Read more:
5. Countrywide Grounds Maintenance
Countrywide Grounds Maintenance delivers a wide variety of outdoor services, from weeding to tree surgery, clearing gutters and even maintaining sports fields. It was founded in 1984 and, since then, has built up a £26 million annual turnover. As a franchisee, you can expect to make around £600,000 in revenue per year.
- Becoming a Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchisee: You’ll be joining a gardening franchise with a reputation for excellence and 50 regional offices supporting over 12,000 site locations.
- How much you need to invest: As a franchisee, you’ll be required to put a total of £250,000 towards your venture.
- What you get for your investment: All franchisees attend a three-week training programme, receiving both classroom-based and on-site coaching. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be responsible for managing a team of highly skilled grounds maintenance staff and generating sales to develop your franchise unit.
6. My Window Cleaner
Have you considered running your own business as a professional window cleaner? You’ll make people’s homes and offices look shiny and new, all whilst getting valuable vitamin D. My Window Cleaner is one of the best franchises in the sector – and it’s on the lookout for new investors.
- Becoming a My Window Cleaner franchisee: To impress the franchise’s recruitment team, you’ll have to be committed to the business and have the ambition to expand your unit from a single-van operation to a multi-van enterprise. You should also have good communication skills and be prepared to work closely with the franchisor.
- How much you need to invest: To become a My Window Cleaner franchisee, you'll need to invest approximately £14,500. The business suggests investors can achieve profits of over £65,000 just two years after they start a franchise unit.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll have the chance to take part in a training programme and get access to ongoing support, but this franchise has plenty of additional benefits for investors. Inspired by the way digital apps have revolutionised the takeaway and taxi industries, My Window Cleaner has introduced its own online ordering system. It takes the form of an app, which streamlines booking and payment processes. This helps boost repeat business and automates much of the admin work so you can focus on growing your business.
Start a franchise unit in the great outdoors
Quitting your desk job and boosting your wellbeing doesn’t have to be a far-off dream. With such a diverse array of outdoor franchises seeking investors, you have the chance to set up your ideal business with the security of proven strategies and an experienced franchisor.
To see our full range of investment opportunities, you can scroll through our UK franchise directory.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©