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Meet the franchisees building their businesses alongside their day jobs

Meet the franchisees building their businesses alongside their day jobs

It's not always realistic to give up a career to franchise full time. Here are the entrepreneurs doing things differently

Some 5.2 million workers in the UK have taken on second jobs and 10 million are considering taking on another job if living costs continue to rise, according the Royal London Cost of Living Report. While an additional contracted role is certainly an option, it seems business ownership is becoming particularly appealing to those looking to bolster their earnings.

For example, new business set-ups increased by 9% in the first quarter of 2023. This equates to 101 new businesses being launched every hour across the UK, according to iwoca, one of Europe’s small business lenders.

Some of these businesses are franchises; there are brands that allow new franchisees to launch while maintaining their previous job, especially in sectors where the business is seasonal or can be run part time. However, before you dive in, it’s important to discuss your future plans with franchisors at the very start as some may expect you to eventually transition to working full time on the franchise.

How common are second jobs in franchising?

Setting up a new business can be a time-consuming process, which means that in some cases becoming a part-time franchisee just isn’t feasible. However, there are numerous brands who are open to franchisees who want to run their business alongside another role. This includes seasonal and part time service providers.

“Two of our franchisees are currently running their hog roast businesses part-time, with the aim of going full time later,” says Nick Warlow, a director at The Gourmet Hog Roast Company. “We certainly allow this, because it means franchisees who may be nervous about taking the business full-time from day one can keep their existing Monday to Friday job with confidence.

“They are often office workers who want to escape the Monday to Friday rat race. They have enjoyed hosting barbecues at home and want to make it a business,” says Nick.

Some service franchises similarly allow franchisees to start part time, as roles can involve evening or weekend work which sits outside of other work
commitments.

“The Razzamataz franchise is ideal for people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it allows franchisees to work flexibly,” says Denise Gosney, MD and founder of Razzamataz
Theatre Schools. “This means they can continue in the job they are in on a part time basis.”

Other franchise sectors worth looking at are sports franchises (some operate outside school hours or at weekends), travel sales franchises, and local ‘what’s on’ magazines, many of which also involve working from home.


Seasonal success


Image: Peter Gadsby, franchisee at The Gourmet Hog Roast Company

Peter Gadsby is an established photographer and consultant at Bonhams auction house. However, he made the decision to maintain his 25-year career while becoming a franchisee at The Gourmet Hog Roast Company – an events catering company specialising in hog roasts.

“I was always on call, and commuting to London from my home in Kent had lost its charm,” he says. “I wanted something extra that was completely different.”

Peter had always loved cooking barbecues in the garden for friends, so when he heard about The Gourmet Hog Roast Company franchise, he wanted in.

“Now I devote the start of the week to consultancy projects, and the end of the week to my hog roast business,” Peter explains. “The hog roast is busy in the
summer and at weekends, so it can mean quite long hours, but when it’s quiet, in winter, my wife Katie and I like to travel to places like India, or go skiing.

“You must budget carefully because up to 80% of revenue from the hog roast comes in over only six months of the year. But ploughing profits back into the business means I’ve been able to take on a unit in which to store and prep the meat. Long term, I want to grow the revenue from the hog roast.”

A critical factor in Peter’s success is that The Gourmet Hog Roast Company head office handles all the initial enquiries, event bookings, and marketing for its franchisees. “It means that I only put in an hour a day on the admin, so I can juggle the hog roast work with my consultancy business,” says Peter.


Part time prowess


Image: Charlotte Bradshaw, franchisee at Razzamataz Theatre School

Charlotte Bradshaw combines her job as a midwife in the NHS with being the principal of the Razzamataz Theatre School in Leicester.

“I’m currently working three long shifts a week as a midwife, with a plan to drop this to two shifts,” she says. “When Razzamataz builds, I will make a further decision, but for now, I
always want to keep a hand in midwifery.”

Charlotte qualified as a midwife in 2018, but was looking for an outlet to mitigate the stresses that can come with such an under-pressure role.

“I had been feeling trapped, miserable, and a bit desperate, worrying about how to change my life,” she says. “Then I watched a Razzamataz video where a theatre school principal was talking about the right time to go into business.

A switch flicked on in my head and everything about Razzamataz just felt right. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I was nervous, but more excited than anything.”

Prior to investing, Charlotte had never performed professionally and had no experience in running a business, but then she found resources offering a helpful guide to setting up a successful franchise location.

“Razzamataz has launched more than 60 new schools, so I just needed to follow their system,” she explains. “The role is very flexible so I can combine working for the NHS and launching my school.

“So far, it’s working really well, and I can choose when I do things, working at my own pace and around my midwifery shifts and social life. I’m very busy but it is easy to fit it in if you are organised and Razzamataz head office staff are great for getting back to me quickly if I have any questions or need support.”


Complementary careers


Image: Nick Blakemore, franchisee at OSCAR Pet Foods Lichfield and Tamworth

In 2017, Nick Blakemore became a magistrate as well as the Lichfield and Tamworth franchisee at OSCAR Pet Foods, where he began delivering nutritional advice, food, and accessories to pet owners.

“I could only volunteer as a magistrate once I’d set up my own business and could give my own free time,” says Nick. “Magistrate’s rotas are set six months in advance so I have plenty of notice. I keep a strict delivery schedule for OSCAR and allocate days for admin and stock management.”

He advises others who want to adopt two roles to keep time blocked for both without allowing them to cross over as it can be confusing.

“Have a clear discussion with the previous business owner and the franchisor to understand the true time expectations to perform the role effectively,” says Nick. “Some franchises are less flexible than others. Also, clarify service level expectations with customers from day one.”

For Nick, it has helped that the OSCAR customer relationship management system allows for scheduling and stock management and has generous timelines for company meetings and training.
“It means I can integrate the two dairies without too many panic activities.

“OSCAR also permits flexible working practices so I can set my own delivery, admin, and stock days to balance between my interests.”

Words by Linda Whitney.

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