What is it about franchising that makes it a success, and why could it be the right business model for you?
1. No experience required
In the majority of franchise systems successful operation of a business is not dependent on prior experience. In fact, many franchisors welcome, even seek out, franchise buyers with no background in the industry. Why? Because everyone develops bad habits over time, and it can be easier to train someone from scratch than to re-educate experienced professionals.
And that’s the key – the training. That’s why mechanics, police officers, accountants, nurses, sales executives, bankers, retail assistants, truck drivers, teachers, cleaners can become cafe owners, run gyms or start a logistics business.
There are some roles where certified technical skills are required – and sometimes these can be acquired during the training process – but one of the joys of franchising is the ability to start again in a new career, in a field that excites you, backed up by thorough training and the knowledge that support is just a phone call away.
2. Peer support
For many people, the dream of running their own business comes with the fear of doing it alone. As a franchisee, you will have the back-up of the franchisor’s head office team, a business development manager to help keep your business on track, and a raft of fellow franchisees who can share their best practice, provide encouragement in the tough times, and applaud your wins.
Investing in a franchise is about putting yourself in charge of your future but with a whole team of enthusiastic supporters along on the journey.
The franchise network is likely to have an annual conference, perhaps regional meetings, an awards night…all of which help foster a sense of community and healthy competition.
3. Benchmarking business
How do you know how well you’re doing as a franchisee? Benchmarking allows franchisees to compare their performance against their fellows, not just against their own business plan.
While running your own business is your responsibility, in a franchise increasingly franchisors require financial transparency from franchisees. This allows the overall network to benefit from a common drive to better performance and means underperforming franchisees have an opportunity to learn from the high fliers the processes or actions they take that give them a competitive edge.
4. Marketing the brand
Unless you have a marketing background, the essential element of marketing the brand and boosting your customer database through targeted campaigns can seem daunting.
How will you choose the right message?
What is the best method for reaching new customers?
What should you post on social media?
How often should you introduce a new campaign?
Franchising offers easy solutions because a marketing package is part of the deal when you sign up – you’ll learn how to announce your new business, when and how to display seasonal deals and special offers, and learn which distribution system is most effective for campaigns.
And you’ll be sharing the brand value created by any national campaigns that will help drive local customers to your business.
5. Lease negotiation
The leasing of the right location is crucial and particularly relevant for any retail-based business. In today’s competitive climate choosing a site and negotiating a reasonable rent takes skill and experience.
And for many household name brands, there’s some leverage that can be employed to ensure franchisees are not paying over the odds – a surefire way to start any new business on the back foot.
When you invest in a franchise, in many cases there is either an in-house locations expert or the company will work with an experienced specialist consultant – either way, the aim is to achieve the best outcome for the franchisee.
Territory based franchisees need to be confident the client-base exists in their chosen region, and again drawing on franchisor expertise – as well as doing your own independent homework – can prove invaluable.