Had enough of your regular 9-5pm job, had a baby and can’t face returning to work or just bored and need a new challenge. A Franchise arrangement can open a whole new world to you, but are you genuinely ready and capable of successfully embracing a new business?

Are you too old?

Never, you can never be too old to follow your dreams and become your own boss. We heard that the average Franchise Boss was around 49 years old and at least 40% were over 50.  It is understood that more experience is brought to the table and genuine thought has been placed into whether they can finance the venture.

Why a Franchise over a new business?

These businesses are established and often have a known even household brand. This affords you a reputation immediately and goodwill. They should have a mapped-out business structure, policies and an overall proven model that you can take as guidance and build on. They can help usually with staff training, marketing, cash flow advice and secure an immediate client base.  This means you are not starting up cold on your own, you will have guidance, a reputation and will be ahead of the game.

 Are you right for Franchising?

  1. Firstly, look at what is out there that appeals to you. Read up on what they are looking for, the skills needed and commitment required – make a short list and see if you find your dream role in there.
  2. A good lawyer and accountant are essential – you should carry out careful research on the business, its history and reputation, its financial stability, what people must say about them, any claims in the past – are the legal documents sound.
  3. Cash – simply can you afford to leave your job and invest in this project? Have you considered the overheads and costs for the first year in operation v forecasted income? Do you have a contingency or back up plan? Have you listed all the costs and expenses so you understand the actual running / operating costs?
  4. Do you have the requisite credentials or skills – be honest what are your weaknesses can you overcome / train yourself in these areas – can you build on your strengths? Is there training available to you and guidance from the Franchisor in any gaps you identify?
  5. Talk to others – what questions do they think you should be asking yourself and the franchisor – do they like your potential franchisor and did they get all that was promised?
  6. Is there a market – make sure you consider carefully this new market place. Is there a customer base, are you confident in that market and do you understand it or can you learn?
  7. History is key – those that have been around a long time have a history for you to explore and take comfort in. New enterprises need extra care and diligent checks.
  8. Paperwork – what are they giving to you – do you get training – help with the lease – exclusivity or policies to pass down? Check the terms with a lawyer but be careful of agreeing conditions you have not really thought on whether you can deliver.
  9. Don’t rush – you must take advice and check things out carefully. Those that run into this usually discover issues far too late down the line to resolve.
  10. Personal Guarantees – are you being asked to give any? Can you risk your assets and home agreeing this? Have you taken advice and thought this through carefully?

Don’t want to work all year – can I limit my services to the summer only?

6 months over summer working and off on holidays during the winter, idealistic or possible? More and more we are seeing pop up and temporary businesses such as Christmas decoration shops, firework stalls or ice cream sellers.  There are also working from home franchises that concentrate on sales at peak times and less so during other months such as holiday sales representatives or yoga retreat agencies.

As long as you have considered your cash flow carefully during the non-earning months this can be a perfect way to create a working life balance for you. It may be, if you struggle to budget, you can continue throughout the year anyway or even consider a second franchise. There are many franchises out there looking for people to run these types of businesses it’s choosing one that suits you.

Brexit – doom and gloom for franchises?

There is always going to be uncertainty around new businesses and of course people are anxious about Brexit. However, now could be the best time to invest whilst people are scared to make decisions, so you cash in on their nervousness and ride the wave. The pound appears to be stabilising and industries such as technology continue to thrive, but there will always be doubt.  The figures online, we have seen, suggest that the UK franchise experienced year after year growth from 2008 upwards and in 2015 was valued at over £51 billion.

How can I stand out and have a Franchisor chose me?

1. Be prepared

Make sure you learn everything you can about the company, the brand and its background. There is nothing worse than being caught out on facts.

2. Present yourself as a business owner

You are asking them to trust you with their brand as a business owner so present yourself as that confident, assured and prepared person. Your confidence and attitude or lack thereof will be a deciding factor.

3. It’s a 2 way interview ask your questions

Apart from the fact that you need to have your questions addressed in order to make your decision, asking informed and clever questions shows the Franchisor that you are serious and have thought this through carefully.

Take in a list so you don’t become nervous and forget them – look and be prepared.

4. Do you actually get franchising

You need to understand this process and set up, so take advice and guidance beforehand. Franchisors want to have confidence in you and you must show them you have a clear plan mapped out in your head and a real understanding of the next stages.

5. Sell yourself

After dazzling them with your knowledge, awareness and business plan don’t be shy to sell yourself. Explain why you are there and are so dedicated, outline your experience, skills and strengths. There is nothing more convincing than proactivity  and a dynamic and committed person.

The team at A City Law Firm are always on hand to advise you on the agreements, lease and policies or carry out the checks beforehand. Having set up the firm ourselves we understand the courage it takes to try something new and we are hear to support you.

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