Thinking about buying a franchise?

Posted on 28/06/2018

Fred Hopkins – Business Development Manager

 

 

Looking into a particular franchise? Chances are, you have already taken the first steps towards a new style of life and a business run by you, for you (mostly).

Entering into a franchise agreement is not something to be taken lightly, it’s always a decision which you should take your time with. But if you haven’t quite gotten that far, here’s why considering a franchise might be the perfect option for you.

Almost all franchises will charge a Franchise Fee, which is designed to support your business’ launch, and will come with a franchise term, or agreement. These are in place to protect both you and your franchisor and will outline what is expected of both parties once the arrangement commences.

Support:
A franchise is designed to help you with 2 main areas;
1) To excel in an area of business that you might be unfamiliar with
2) To help you get up and running as your own business entity for the first time following your years of experience in the field.

The support on offer can vary; from financial advice and legislative updates, ensuring you are compliant and ahead of the curve, through to marketing, IT, and industry knowledge. It’s the industry knowledge that really helps- this will usually come in the form of years of experience in the field you’re moving into and it’s worth it’s metaphorical weight in gold. The expertise on offer can help you avoid months if not years of trial and error, which in a start-up can be the difference between hitting your break-even point and profit, or in the more extreme cases: failure.

Brand:
A good franchisor will be known in the market before you approach them. Giving you a head start in terms of your industry exposure, gaining new business and drumming up new clients. On top of this all of your design work will be taken care of, giving you a huge advantage and potentially saving you weeks or months and hundreds if not thousands of pounds in marketing costs and headache. Most of all, a good franchise will incorporate you or your existing business into their marketing, which will then become your marketing, helping you to establish your winning brand as a business to watch out for!

Territory:
It’s often a normal part of any franchise offering that you will be in charge of your own exclusive territory. The biggest advantage of this is that you will not be in competition with your franchisor. It also helps to centre your target audience’s eyes on you as the go-to for your industry in your area. A territory might be worked out on any number of metrics depending on what the business is based on, but often they will be in a fairly tight geographic region which is designed to give you the maximum exposure in a manageable area, helping you to build a successful and thriving business.

Additionally, many franchisors will be happy to award or sell additional areas to your territory once you have proved yourself to be successful. In fact, many franchisors would prefer to award additional territories to existing franchisees as they are a proven success.

Ongoing Support:
Often the most overlooked element of a franchise agreement, the ongoing support in a good system is designed to support you throughout your growth within the franchise. Enabling you to overcome the obstacles that may appear before you as your business grows in size and scope can help you to fast track your business growth.

Equally this support is there from the word go, with a dedicated Business Development Manager on tap to provide you with the benefit of their experience and work with you to put your knowledge and drive to best use.

Systems:
A business can only work as well as the systems and people in place. In a franchise, you will gain access to proven systems and methodologies tailored to your business needs. In addition, if you are in a sector that requires particular software in order to function then your franchisor can secure you licences and provide training to ensure you are getting the most out of your software.

Network:
In a franchise, you are not in it alone! Thanks to the clear boundaries in most franchise systems you won’t find yourself competing with fellow franchisees (except for awards and plaudits). Which means that you have another source of information and support available to you. Sometimes, speaking to someone else who is in the same boat as you can be more valuable than anything else!

Even in new or small franchises there is often someone else who has been where you are, perhaps only a few months before and can give you a friendly steer toward a more successful route forward. And if you are the first franchisee in your region? You get to set the tone and the pace for everyone who follows after, assuming you haven’t snapped up all of the territory around you!

 

There are a number of advantages and drawbacks to each franchise offering and depending on your sector you might be better off in looking to your own ingenuity to build your new business yourself. That being said, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks for many, many people, which is part of why franchising has taken off in the UK as it has recently.