Many family friendly businesses can be started either by buying a franchise or from scratch. It can be tough deciding which way to go, which is why it’s great that today’s guest blogger, Pippa Highfield, is going to give us her own reasons for buying a franchise 4 years ago. Pippa is the Bedford editor of Raring2Go! , a local magazine full of ideas of what to do and where to go with children.
I recently completed a survey for the British Franchise Association and one of the questions they asked me was why I bought a franchise as opposed to setting up a business from scratch. It was an easy question to answer as starting up the Bedford edition of Raring2go! magazine, a local what’s on and where to go guide for families, really was the best option for me.
Having worked in the corporate world for most of my career, I was frankly terrified of going it alone.
Having worked in the corporate world for most of my career, I was frankly terrified of going it alone. Yet I knew that starting my own business was the only viable way for me to achieve the work/ life balance I needed with a young family. Running a franchise generated the income I wanted whilst giving me a much needed support structure whilst I learned how to run my own business.
Here are my top five reasons to consider buying a franchise:
- Greater financial certainty: when purchasing a franchise you are buying into a tried and tested model for making money. Clearly nothing is 100% guaranteed, but the franchisor should be able to give you real-life examples of the profitability achieved by other franchisees or a set of accounts if you are looking at a franchise resale. If you need to earn a certain income to make the family finances balance this can be a great help.
- Business support and training: your franchisor will be a great source of practical support and advice – it’s like having your own IT, HR & marketing team to call upon! Very few people have all the skills necessary to run their own business so knowing you have a team you can rely on takes the pressure off.
- A recognised brand and business model: it takes most companies many years and a big budget to build a reputation. By buying into a franchise you are piggy-backing on a brand that has national backing giving your business kudos and credibility. As well as a brand, you are buying a business model or way of doing business. Most franchisors will provided a detailed operational manual showing you the best way of running your business. The manual will help you cut through a lot boring background ‘stuff’ and let you get on with making money.
- Easier route to financing your business: yes, you need capital to buy a franchise, but then you need to invest money in most new businesses. The benefit of buying a franchise is that the banks are likely to put more store on the franchisors projections or an existing set of accounts if you are looking at a franchise resale.
- Franchisee support network: often other local franchisees are the greatest source of motivation and support. In most franchise arrangements you are not in competition with fellow franchisees which means you have a group of ‘colleagues’ who really do know what you are going through. If, like me, you are used to working in an office environment the benefits of being part of a ready-made franchisee network can be really valuable.
After four successful years Pippa is now planning to move on to new projects. So if you think franchising could tick your boxes and would like an informal chat about taking on the Raring2go! Bedford franchise please contact Pippa on 01908 583232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Replies to “Five Reasons To Buy a Franchise”
While the reasons for taking this position are sound, all of them presuppose that all franchises were born equal. I know of several franchisors who as a matter of policy [as opposed to neglect, poor management, changing market environment etc] do not have the franchisees interests at heart. I’ve heard one say, ‘well I don’t care that they don’t make a success of it, as long as they pay the inital fees, and if they fold, I’ll simply take over the franchise, and then resell it’.
A very good point, thanks for that. I knew that some franchises are much better than others in terms of support, but it’s almost chilling to read that some don’t have the franchisees interests at heart as a matter of policy. Especially as so many franchisees don’t have the business knowledge to easily spot these companies, after all that’s why they are buying a franchise in the first place. I’d always advice anyone thinking of buying a franchise to do their homework thoroughly – don’t just take the franchiser’s word for it. Do a proper business plan and cashflow to make sure you stand a good chance of paying the franchise fee and making a profit. Don’t just read the case studies provided by the franchiser, phone up several franchisees at random and ask their opinion.
Good advice Helen – researching the opportunity throughly before agreeing to take on a franchise is essential. A good starting point is the British Franchise Association who provide lots of sound information and advice for prospective franchisees, including how to asses an opportunity. It is also worth bearing in mind that franchisors who are members of the BFA have been vetted against a code of business practice.
I took specialist legal advice, undertook my own local market research and had several meetings with the franchisor before taking on the Bedford Raring2go! franchise. I will share my own thoughts on what you need to know before buying a franchise on this blog in the next couple of weeks which I hope will prove useful to anyone considering the franchise route.