Two franchisees explain the benefits of buying a business that’s already been in the capable hands of someone else
For those considering heading up their own business, the reassurance of continual lead generation and the support of a head office function can make franchising a more attractive option compared to traditional self-employment.
Starting a franchise from scratch can be liberating, life-changing and lucrative. But, depending on various factors, such as levels of brand awareness nationally, it can still come with its own challenges, including the time it takes to build a loyal customer base locally.
That’s where purchasing a franchise resale can make a huge difference. By stepping into the shoes of someone wishing to exit their business, an individual is handed an ‘oven-ready’ package on which they can continue to build.
So what are the main benefits of buying a franchise resale and what difference can doing so make to eager franchisees?
A ready-made business
Buying a resale will mean taking over the running of a franchise that has already been in the capable hands of someone else for what might be many years.
While this might seem daunting, in reality, it means you’re becoming part of a ready-made business that will enable you to start reaping the benefits of franchising sooner rather than later.
Andy Cornell, owner of ChipsAway Guildford, joined the network in 2011 after purchasing a resale opportunity on his doorstep. He says: “I was attracted to buying this specific franchise because, primarily, regular trade was already in place - in fact, the order book was full for the upcoming four weeks. That meant I could focus on training and getting to know the business, rather than having to build up a customer database.
“The outgoing franchisee had also worked really hard to build up the business’ reputation, which meant I could capitalise on word of mouth recommendation. I knew that as long as I could do as good a job as he did, the business would continue to grow in the way it had been doing.”
Expertise to learn from
While most franchise brands will offer extensive training to anyone joining their network, there’s no one better to learn from than the people who do the job day in, day out.
Buying a resale often involves a period of crossover, where the incoming business owner can shadow the incumbent franchisee to learn the ropes and understand the intricacies of that specific network.
And for those who step into a business that already has employees, there’s an established team to lean on while you get to grips with your new opportunity.
Richard Langston, owner of Ovenclean Bury St Edmonds & Thetford, joined the business as a subcontractor before it came up for resale.
He says: “The previous owner of my business, John, stayed on board after I joined the business in 2017.
“During that time, I didn’t have to think about the administrative elements that come with taking on a franchise, as John continued building the client base, handled the marketing and accounting, while I focused purely on delivering cleaning services. I was taught first hand by John, who knew his business inside and out.
“When I purchased the business, I was upskilled enough to handle the physical element of cleaning, but also take on the running of the business and its associated admin.”
A springboard for the future
Taking on a business is a huge change to anyone’s lifestyle, but another benefit of purchasing a resale is that its future can only be decided by one person - you.
Essentially, you’re joining the company part way through its story and you have the power to shape its destiny, whether that’s expanding its footprint, taking on new employees or reinvesting back into the franchise itself.
Since acquiring his ChipsAway business, Andy has grown it significantly and also been recognised for his effort to help new franchisees get to grips with running their own operations. He’s been awarded ChipsAway’s Business Mentor of the Year three times consecutively and was crowned Franchisee of the Year in 2016.
“I took on my first employee after just nine months, but another nine months later we were turning away work because we didn’t have enough time to handle the number of requests for our service,” he says.
“I took on a second employee and expanded into a small workshop. The business continued to grow, so we moved into a ChipsAway car care centre and I hired another recruit.
That was five years ago and we’ve been trading like that ever since.
“Buying a resale does give you the opportunity to expand quickly because you’ve already got a front-load of work booked in, which means you can look two steps ahead.”
Richard adds: “Very quickly, I went from delivering the work the previous owner had already secured to generating business myself as the community got to know I was the new face of the business.
“The beauty of franchising is that this is my business and it’s up to me if it fails or succeeds. Buying a resale had major advantages in that I stepped into something that was already thriving - I simply had to ensure it continued to do so.
“Wherever the future takes me, I’ll be part of something I’ve been able to nurture, which continues to be successful and which makes a difference to customers.”
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