There are so many different analogies out there, describing the franchise business model in metaphor. But if you’re running a franchise, you might have noticed one yourself: Franchising and football share a lot in common. The growing, diverse industry matches up, in many ways, to the UK’s most popular sport. Here’s why.
From the importance of teamwork to the focus on training, franchising has many similarities to this well-loved sport. Feeling overwhelmed, and unsure what you need to know ahead of becoming a franchisee? Read on, and discover all the most important parts of franchising through the medium of football.
The franchising business model
Before we jump into all the reasons that franchising and football are alike, here’s a bit of franchising 101: Franchising is the name given to the process in which a franchisor (business owner) gives permission for a franchisee (investor in the business) to sell its goods and/or services, and to operate under the business’s name. In return for an initial investment, franchisors license their concepts, intellectual properties and processes to franchisees.
The franchising industry is thriving in 2021. In 2018, the sector generated over £17.2 billion and employed 710,000 [British Franchise Association], and these figures have only increased since. There are many benefits to franchising, including:
- The provision of high-quality training and support
- The provision of marketing and advertising support
- The chance to own a business and be your own boss without taking so many risks
- Franchisor assistance in difficult moments/with unexpected challenges
- The built-in customer base and brand recognition
- The opportunity to work flexibly and set your own hours
- The various different opportunities for growth and expansion
Four similarities between franchising and football
So, what makes franchising and football so similar to each other, then? Here are the four key similarities between the two seemingly very different things...
1. The underdog can succeed, and biggest doesn’t always mean best
Though popular franchises might be the first that come to mind, such as large QSR (quick service restaurant) chains like McDonald’s, these aren’t the only opportunities for investment and profit. Even everyday people who don’t have millions to invest in a household name can succeed in the franchising world, and there are plenty of franchises with low-cost investment opportunities thriving out there. You don’t need to be working with the biggest business in the UK in order to build a profitable, impressive career for yourself.
Similarly to football, smaller franchises can rise up the ranks. League One teams can become Premier League teams given enough time and effort, and this ability to prosper is many fans’ favourite thing about the game. No matter the size, if a team (or a franchise) has the determination, strength and spirit to succeed, then in time, they will.
If you’re interested in getting involved in franchising, don’t be afraid to start with a smaller, more affordable opportunity and grow from there. It’s a far better idea to invest modestly than it is to overinvest and find yourself unable to meet the financial demands of your role in a difficult month. Joining up with a franchise that’s just starting out will allow you to ride an exciting wave of growth, and investing less initially will reduce your time to profit.
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2. Teamwork is of the utmost importance
Individual football talents come and go, and they’re praised and heralded in their time, but everyone knows that a team can’t win on the merit of a single individual. Even if you’re the George Best of franchising or the Cristiano Ronaldo of business ownership, you’ll need to value and prioritise teamwork, whether that’s nurturing the franchisor-franchisee relationship, or looking after your employees.
And, just like in football, the atmosphere and culture of the franchise you’re looking to invest in should matter to you, and should be something that you pay attention to. Even very good footballers won’t thrive in clubs where they don’t feel welcome, supported and understood, and the same is true of franchisees. Do your due diligence, study your franchise agreement, and be sure that you stand on solid ground with your franchisor.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Complete Guide to Franchise Costs in the UK
- Franchising 101: How to Buy a Franchise Business in 10 Steps
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: Top 5 Qualities of a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
- Franchising 101: The Pros and Cons of Franchising Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Top Contributors of Franchise Failure
3. When you follow a plan and get organised, you’re more likely to achieve your goals
Organisation is the key to success. Before every match, a good manager lets their players know what they should be doing on the pitch and has a clear plan. This is very similar to the franchise business model, in which a franchisee follows the proven operational guidelines of their franchisor in order to ensure success.
Like football tactics, features of the business model are adjusted and improved over years of research, effort and gathered data. Previous experience shows the franchisor what works, and what doesn’t, and the franchisor adjusts their methods in line with these facts, as a football manager would.
Organisation also leads to consistency, which is crucial to success in franchising and on the field. If you can only perform at your best every three games, or you only make a profit every other month, you’re unlikely to find much success. You need to create a formula that works every time - or, at least, most of the time. And if you plan ahead and pay attention to the data you’ve already gathered, you should be able to do this.
4. Training is essential, and one of the best ways to guarantee future success
On average, each football player will run 10 kilometres during a match. To stay match fit, professional footballers train around five times every week [Quora]. They also receive extensive training and conditioning before they ever make it out of the reserves and onto the First 11. Similarly, franchisees will need quality training in order to succeed, and invariably will be provided with it.
Training should cover everything that you need to know in order to thrive as a franchisee, and should be provided to you by experts. Beyond your initial training, most franchisors will also offer you continued development and training opportunities, though your equivalent of training five times a week on the football pitch will simply be the hands-on running of your business.
Score goals and take shots as a franchisee
Running your own business is hard work, but like playing football, it also comes with many rewards - especially when you make that game-winning goal, or hit that ambitious monthly target for your business. If you can listen to expert advice, work well as a member of a team, but demonstrate leadership when it’s needed, you can succeed as a franchisee. Explore some of the UK’s most profitable franchise opportunities via Point Franchise's UK franchise directory.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©