Starting a franchise can be a very tempting way to set up your own business – a tried and tested formula, an established brand, guidance from a larger organisation and the support of an instant network of other franchisees – what could possibly go wrong?
Although a franchise opportunity can seem like a brilliant way to be your own boss, just as with any new business, there are no guarantees of success.
So, to help you make the right business decision, Fiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums, who is passionate about helping mums find work that fits around their families, shares the 4 things you need to do before you take that franchising leap:
1. Do the maths
Don’t get carried away by the “promise” of overnight success in the franchising ads and forget to do the maths. Doing your research and writing a clear business plan is crucial to making your startup a success. You need to work out how long will it take you to recoup your original investment and break even. Remember to find out what the current franchisees say about earnings potential.
2. Read the small print
Franchisors will be prescriptive to ensure their brand isn’t compromised, so always understand the rules and restrictions of what you can offer. If you have a personality that likes to have the freedom to create your own rules, then you may well be better off setting up your own business.
3. Find a good match
The key to franchising success is making sure you are a good match for the franchise. Consider everything from your skill-set to your budget and your particular passions and interests. How well do they sit with the franchise offering? The closer the match, the more likely you are to enjoy what you do and make it a real success.
4. Be confident
Be careful you aren’t buying into a franchise simply because you don’t have the confidence to launch a business by yourself. You will still need to have drive and commitment, be able to sell your business and grow the customer base, all of which requires faith in yourself and your abilities.
Whether you decide to take the plunge and start a franchise or set up a business venture on your own – the key thing is to go in with your eyes wide open and your business plan clear. There is lots more information on www.thebfa.org – The British Franchise Association – but keep in mind their purpose is to fly the franchising flag!