Want to run your own business but short on capital to get started? Take a look at these affordable franchises with excellent prospects
There are many benefits to buying a franchise over starting a business from scratch. You buy into a proven business model with access to the knowledge and systems required to make it work. You have the expertise and experience of the franchisor at your fingertips, plus a network of fellow franchisees, all keen to advise and support each other. You’re buying into brand recognition and established loyalty, market expertise, ongoing business support, and a reduced risk of failure. All in all, it’s an attractive proposition.
But all these advantages do come at a price. Buying a franchise is going to mean making an investment, albeit one that should pay back sooner than if you started from scratch, but when the figures run high a less expensive option might work better for your personal circumstances, especially if you’re short on savings. Sure, the opportunities for high profits, growth, and scalability may be more restricted than some management franchises that fall on the upper end of the price scale, but not everyone wants to run a business empire - for many of us, a profitable owner-operation outfit that allows flexibility, a decent income, and the opportunity to scale in future is more than enough.
So, check out our fantastic 15 for under £15K, showcasing an amazing depth and breadth of options available right now. And, don’t forget, if you’re buying a franchise, you are often eligible for bank and government funding, making it even easier to get on the ladder of business ownership.
1. My Window Cleaner
Sights set on growth
Financial security and work-life balance
Genuinely nice people
Established in 1996 (2018 as a franchise), My Window Cleaner now has 24 outlets and its sights set on growing. For a minimum investment of £11,995, franchisees can enjoy high-profit margins, thanks to My Window Cleaner’s highly automated and efficient operations, along with a scaleable business model. Backed by a passionate and dedicated support team, you can build a successful business in the evergreen window-cleaning industry while focusing on your return on investment, as you’re provided with all the tools and resources needed to achieve financial stability and long-term growth.
Franchisees have the option to grow their operation by adding additional vans, which can increase their revenue and provide a pathway to multi-territory expansion.
The franchisor’s top priority is finding individuals who are genuinely nice people to become franchisees. Having a positive and friendly demeanour is key to building a successful and supportive franchise network in the window-cleaning trade, along with a positive ‘can do’ attitude, strong moral principles, a solid work approach, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
In terms of work-life balance and flexibility, My Window Cleaner provides franchisees with the freedom to manage their schedule and workload, according to their preferences and needs. This allows franchisees to achieve the work-life balance they desire while still growing their business.
Expanding its presence throughout the UK is a priority for this ambitious brand. To ensure successful growth, they’re awarding territories to individuals who possess the right qualities, which will dictate the development of new areas. In the future, they plan to expand into Europe and beyond.
2. The Travel Franchise
Work-life balance and flexibility
Passionate, organised self-starters
Passion is the most significant quality that The Travel Franchise is looking for in new franchisees. The organisation is offering an enticing entry-level fee of £2,995 + VAT, or an elite package for £14,995 + VAT, with options to get the fee refunded if certain sales targets are met.
While you don’t need to have previous experience in the travel industry or running a business, you do need to be self-starting and enjoy talking (and listening) to people in order to provide excellent customer service and build a rapport with clients. It’s also essential to be organised, self-motivated and flexible (some customers may want to change travel arrangements several times).
The current 550+ franchisees come from a variety of backgrounds and careers. Many have endured stressful careers with long commutes and therefore join for a better work/life balance as the business model is based on working at home.
However, because franchisees can work part-time or in their spare time as a sideline, an increasing number of franchisees are joining to top up their pensions. The model is particularly attractive because it allows people to launch their travel agency in their spare time, alongside their existing job. They then quit that job when their travel business takes off. As they are paid commission on each holiday they sell, they can choose their own hours and decide how hard they want to work.
And because there is a range of flexible packages allowing franchisees to upgrade, the business is scalable depending on the individual’s goals. Some franchisees have grown their teams and taken on agents to help skyrocket the business. Indeed, the most successful agents each sold between £100,000-£500,000-worth of holidays in January alone. Others are happy to make fewer bookings and enjoy the perks of being a travel agent with access to family trips and discounted holidays.
Suzy Blyth, a mum who took 10 years to decide whether to invest in a franchise and then made £10K in one month says, “If you are passionate about what you do and give people good service there’s a natural snowball effect. I wish I’d done it sooner.”
Supporting women business owners
An empowering business model that works around family
Women who want a supportive network
Perfect for people who want to find balance in their lives, BabyBeats has an ethos of empowerment that flows into the support they give to franchisees. If you embrace challenges and have a real desire to build a business around your family, the franchise is set up to provide full guidance and support, as well as the benefits of being part of a growing network.
BabyBeats has expanded nationwide over the past year, striving in particular for the expansion of women business owners. Statistics reveal that only 39 per cent of women feel confident in their capabilities to start a business, yet women-owned businesses can generate more innovation, more progress and more creativity. Baby Beats wants all its business owners to take credit for their own achievements, choosing the hours they work whether that’s around their current job or children.
BabyBeats and Mindful Movers business owners come from diverse backgrounds and the franchisor provides full training and constant support. The large variety of classes on offer gives scalability to the business, where you can support expectant mothers from conception through to birth and then through the first years of babies’ lives with BabyBeats and BabyBeats Plus. Mindful Movers offers expansion into parent and toddler classes, early years settings and educational provisions including full-day workshops, after-school clubs, PE cover, holiday clubs and much more. This means the flexibility and scope of running our franchise can work around how you envision your work life to be.
“The biggest benefit for me of owning my own BabyBeats and Mindful Movers franchise is the flexibility,” says BabyBeats and Mindful Movers Wakefield West franchise owner Erin Wattam. “I choose the days I work, how many hours and what time. This all fits around my family life. I choose when I take my holiday days and plan my days around my family. All the BabyBeats instructors are so lovely and supportive. We have a group where we can ask questions and bounce off each other. We all want the best for each other and I think that’s rare to find in business.”
The minimum-required capital for a BabyBeats franchise is £6,995 with a top investment range of £12,995.
4. Fun Fest
Relatively low start-up costs with high returns
Hardworking, collaborative colleagues
If you know what you want to achieve, are ready to take control and work hard to solve problems, and are positive and committed to working collaboratively with others, helping families and empowering children, a Fun Fest franchise could be the ideal opportunity. For a minimum investment of £14,999 + VAT, you could join the community of 31 franchisees and enjoy family-friendly flexibility. One club can be run on a part-time basis, earning a fantastic return for operating only 12 weeks per year, or franchisees can scale this up to run a number of clubs or additional services such as before- and after-school clubs, weekend clubs and children’s parties. Franchisees can literally take their children to work!
“The flexibility that my franchise offers is second to none,” says Ryan Turner, Fun Fest Sutton. “Originally, I put a few months of hard work into setting up but was able to run it alongside a full-time job while my business grew. For relatively low start-up costs, the financial returns are now great enough to allow me to step away from full-time work and focus on maximising the potential of my Fun Fest territory. I don’t have childcare qualifications myself but with the support on offer from the Fun Fest team and by employing strong staff members, this has never been a problem. Fun Fest is a great opportunity for anyone looking for greater personal and financial independence.”
5. Get ahead
Grow at your pace
A Scalable model with no limits
If you’re looking for an exciting new career where you get to be your own boss, need the flexibility of a good work-life balance, and enjoy networking, a Get Ahead franchise might be just what you’re looking for. Franchisees come from a variety of backgrounds, including HR, marketing, project management, and senior office management. Confident and persuasive, they are excellent at face-to-face business conversations, have the confidence to speak in public and have the ability to provide first-class customer service. Great people managers, they thrive at being part of a supportive team and enjoy building relationships.
Get Ahead is actively recruiting new franchisees across the UK and internationally. Its area-mapping software ensures each territory has the right spread of potential clients to make their business a success and from day one gives franchisees all the tools they need to build a successful small business franchise for just £1,000 minimum capital.
With no upper cap on earnings and no requirements for franchisees to complete the work themselves, franchisees can grow as much as they choose. Successful franchisees can expand into other territories to operate on a multi-unit basis if they wish.
New franchisees have access to extensive training and mentoring. Detailed and easy-to-follow manuals enable franchisees to develop using proven techniques. Regular check-ins with Rebecca, the franchise owner, and fantastic peer-to-peer support from fellow regional directors means that franchisees gain all the benefits of running a business for themselves, but not by themselves.
Having won the Franchise Balance category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, it’s clear that flexibility is a key benefit of the Get Ahead franchise, with regional directors in complete charge of their hours and income.
Support to succeed
Freedom, profit and scalability
Individuals, couples or partnerships with drive to succeed
Access4Lofts franchisees don’t have to have to be joiners or even have exceptional DIY skills. What they do need is the customer-facing skills, determination and ambition required to run their own business – franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from retail, IT and accounting to electricians and plasterers. If you have basic DIY knowledge and a minimum of £10,000 of your own money to invest, the franchisor can teach you what you need to know to run a successful business (the full investment required is £29,950 +VAT: however, financing can be secured via many of the high street banks for the balance).
Tim and Lindsay Brown established the Access4Lofts business in 2005 and operated successfully in the local Devon area for eight years before demand for the service nationally led them to launch a pilot franchise in Preston, in 2013. The success of the pilot helped the business grow considerably and in 2018 the Access4Lofts franchise was officially launched.
There are now close to 70 franchises operating across the UK from Glasgow to Cornwall, but there is still availability in many key locations throughout the UK.
The owner-operator business model is proven to generate £120K+ sales with more than 40 per cent net profit within 24 months. Franchisees undertake all installation work and solely run the business. The more expensive management business model can generate £300K+ sales with over 35 per cent net profit with two staff. The franchisee works on developing the business and employs and manages fitters that do the majority of the installation work. This option does require additional finance, however.
For Jed Chamberlain, who owns the Guildford, Farnborough, Reading and Crawley franchises and the company’s first £1m franchisee, the decision to buy his first franchise in 2019 was the right one. “The systems and support initially attracted me and both have helped me to grow my business,” he says. Jed’s advice to anyone considering investment is “do it now before they all go!”
7. Broadway Wine Company
Trading best wines at sensible prices
Great business model in a lucrative sector
The wine business is a people business. Broadway Wine’s customers are everybody from the local pub owner to award-winning restaurants and shops – a wide variety of backgrounds – but they do all have a few things in common: they expect world-class service; premium quality wines at sensible prices, and to trust their supplier and enjoy working with them.
If you’re a confident communicator with excellent interpersonal skills and you do what you say you will do, when you said you’ll do it, you’re a good match for Broadway Wine’s customer-centric franchise network. Experience in either wine or sales is not required, as full training and ongoing support in both of these areas are provided; however, an enjoyment of learning and a commitment to continual professional development is a must!
Territories are carefully planned, based on a population count incorporating sufficient target customers to support a thriving Broadway Wine company franchise. In return for an investment range of £10,500 to £14,995 + VAT (the franchisor can help with raising funding), you’ll have an extremely scalable opportunity. In fact, if a franchisee secures just one per cent market penetration within their territory, they will be netting in the region of £180,000 profit per annum.
Territories can support multiple vans, allowing franchisees the opportunity to evolve their business into a management franchise.
8. Family Law Assistance
No legal training required
Remote working anywhere in the world
Hardworking and committed individuals and partners
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to work profitably for yourself, Family Law Assistance is looking to expand across England, with 10 franchisees being the next target (there are currently three with a fourth joining in April). If you’re committed, hardworking, and willing to use the systems and processes the brand has developed, you could be up and running for £10,000 + VAT, with a minimum capital investment of £1000 or less.
The franchisor is keen on automating and outsourcing as much of the business as possible and franchisees benefit from this – working with trusted partners who know how our model works, and enabling them to focus on the core elements of running their business. Year one target turnover is around £30,000, rising to around £60,000 in Y2. Ongoing business costs are around 18 per cent of turnover in both years – working `normal office hours’. That said, there’s flexibility – online calendars enable franchisees to choose when they work, borne out by the fact that some franchisees work four-day weeks and others do so while travelling abroad. They can even offer deals for groups of people who want to work together or scale up this way – after all, Family Law Assistance started as a husband-and-wife partnership (and still operates in this way).
The franchise is quite an unusual model, and the role is too. No legal background is required – you’re not required to be solicitors and the model reflects this. Some franchisees have law degrees, but others have come into it completely new and flourished.
9. What’s On In
Build a passive income
Huge return on investment
Dedicated sales mindsets
With 118 franchisees and counting, a What’s On In franchise offers a low-cost route into self-employment, with the opportunity to scale and build a passive income.
In the coming months, What’s On In is poised to become the go-to search term for people wanting to find out what’s happening in their town, city or holiday location. Thousands of businesses are looking to advertise online, but the lack of credible, cost-effective websites to advertise has until now been limited, which is where this unique, self-service platform comes in. The advertiser can book, pay and send over all their advertising requirements within minutes.
For the franchisee, it offers a unique opportunity to offer any business the chance to advertise. For a minimum capital investment of only £266, you are tasked with building a database of advertisers and following the proven franchise model to achieve a huge return on investment.
Working online and from home, you can start with a single unit (single postcode area) and scale up to a Master Franchise (five postcode areas) or even to a Corporate Franchise (20 postcode areas). What’s On In has expected revenue of £30,000 to £50,000 after two years.
Breaking boundaries to financial freedom
Small investment for great profit
Driven and focused people
ourHRpeople was founded to assist HR specialists to make the transition from employees to owners of a sustainable HR-related business. ourHRpeople partners are all highly qualified, experienced and seasoned HR specialists and CIPD members who have the unfulfilled desire, drive and focus to run their own business with a director-level support team behind them.
Established in 2019, ourHRpeople instils self-confidence in its partners to stretch themselves in unfamiliar situations and push comfort zone boundaries. The franchise has no restrictions for ambitions – your business could be based locally, so you could take on other territories, or a master franchise in a major city or geographic area.
For Jacqui Woodhouse, who joined the business in January 2022, choosing the right franchise was a “no-brainer”. She shares: “With ourHRpeople, I re-couped my franchise fee in just six weeks, and I have not looked back. I have now consistently for 2.5 years managed to more than cover my previous earnings and I really don’t believe that would have been possible by being just another HR independent. On top of that, my work-life balance has improved as my commute is downstairs to the study and then I am home as soon as I log off in the evening.”
With an investment range of £12,995 for a single territory, ourHRpeople recommends three to four months’ living expenses and funds for a laptop and a phone as the minimum required capital.
Jackie Hudson, who is a specialist in the student accommodation sector, recorded a £130,000 turnover in year one, followed by £171,000 in year two. Her annual fees to ourHRpeople amounted to just over £5,000. Working from home, the overheads were tiny, resulting in an amazing ROI.
Jackie says: “I joined ourHRpeople in September 2020, literally from my hospital bed, awaiting a foot operation. Having been made redundant after 17 years working in London as an HR director, I knew that the time had come to look at being self-employed. Having weekly onboarding sessions and learning about how to run my own business helped me to get over the hurdles that I feared. Having supportive and easily accessible franchisors is definitely the number one benefit for me.”
With four franchised outlets (five as of April 2023), ourHRpeople is actively looking in 2023/2024 for a maximum of six franchisees nationwide and master franchisees (who do not have to be HR specialists) for London, Manchester, Kent and Berkshire.
11. The Spitting Pig Co
Leading hog roast specialists
Ideal work-life balance
Committed and enthusiastic ambassadors in Scotland and Wales
Spitting Pig is looking for the right attitude just as much as experience when selecting franchisees. Previous catering or hospitality experience is a bonus but not absolutely essential. What is essential is a willingness to learn, a positive approach, and a commitment to becoming an enthusiastic and professional ambassador for the Spitting Pig brand.
Since its inception in 1994, Spitting Pig has continually expanded its reach and is now the UK’s leading hog roast specialist with a strong nationwide network of 48 franchises. At the moment, they are particularly eager to hear from people who are interested in franchise opportunities in Scotland and Wales.
Becoming a Spitting Pig franchisee is financially profitable, professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. For £12,500 + VAT, it’s the only franchise that can guarantee you £150,000 in bookings in year one with on target net profit of 30-40 per cent, providing the autonomy for franchisees to run their business as they want while also benefitting from a comprehensive support package. It can be a part-time business venture or developed into a large-scale operation providing catering for weddings, corporate hospitality and festivals, for example. All franchisees get full support to nurture and grow their mobile hog roast business as they wish and help them to achieve the ideal work-life balance they are looking for.
A brand-new franchise with an exciting future
Tech-driven approach with an iconic brand
Restauranteurs looking to diversify
Taster franchisees are entrepreneurial restaurateurs with the vision to join the delivery era. With most franchise businesses, delivery is just a small part of what they do, but Taster is obsessed with it. This means that Taster provides its iconic food brands with marketing support, delivery platform management and proprietary tech; partners provide the physical kitchen space, staff and equipment.
Taster’s modern franchise model enables partners to thrive in the delivery era. By providing a tech suite, the brand helps partners streamline kitchen operations with demand-forecasting algorithms and supply chain control tools that eliminate waste and grow partner profit margins.
Taster’s partners have been seeing a big increase in the number of orders through click and collect, so the brand has also built an app to allow franchise partners to take advantage of omnichannel growth – this means bigger profit margins and more customers.
With regular kitchen visits and virtual check-ins, Taster is always trying to tailor solutions for the operational, platform and marketing needs of every partner.
New to Taster is Pasta Dreams, a unique delivery brand often generating as many orders during lunch hours as it does in the evenings. This gives franchisees a longer window of opportunity to drive sales and ultimately scale their business. Since launching from a Soho pop-up in October 2022, Pasta Dreams has focused on consolidating a presence in London. In 2023, Taster is expanding Pasta Dreams across the UK – from the North West and Yorkshire to Wales and Scotland and is interested in speaking to any entrepreneurial franchisees in major towns and cities across the UK.
Importantly, Pasta Dreams partners must share Jamie Oliver’s and Taster’s dedication to high standards for food preparation and service. Whether it’s a click-and-collect customer or a delivery order, partners apply the highest operational standards to ensure speed, quality and consistency. Franchise partners are required to have a 5* FSA rating. Investment range is £1500 to £3000, but the franchise does require you to have a minimum of £10,000 capital.
13. Mister Tacho
Keeping Britain moving
Good returns and work/life balance
Credibility and attention to detail
The haulage network is the lifeblood of the UK economy, with four and a half million lorries running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Due to the potentially dangerous nature of managing a lorry fleet, logistics is a heavily-regulated industry with laws relating to vehicle conditions, maintenance schedules and working time directives for drivers.
In fact, there are over 40 different infractions fleet operators can fall foul to when managing their drivers. Some of the infractions are well known, such as hours spent driving before taking a break, but others are more obscure. The penalties vary too depending on the severity of any non-conformance; drivers can be fined; companies can be penalised, or licences to operate a fleet can be entirely revoked. It isn’t just red tape; the rules are there for a reason. The industry is so heavily regulated because the dangers of operating a fleet are real and complying with these laws helps to minimise accidents and fatalities.
With such complexity combined with high stakes, more companies are deciding to employ outside help to monitor their drivers and assist in following the rules. This is where Mister Tacho comes in. No prior experience is required as full training is given. However, franchisees need excellent attention to detail and to be professionally credible.
In return for an investment of £14,995 + VAT (the franchisor can help with raising funding), a Mister Tacho franchise offers good returns with excellent flexibility and work-life balance. With an excellent reputation with the regulating authorities, a Mister Tacho franchise makes converting prospects to customers much easier. A typical day would include visiting a depot in the morning to download tachograph data. The franchisee then returns to their home office to work on a compliance report for their client. Franchisees are supported in completing these reports by industry-leading training and supporting analytical software.
Alongside data downloads and report writing, the franchisee is responsible for wearing the many different hats of a business owner. This includes finance, marketing and visiting potential clients to turn them into customers.
Delivering lawncare expertise
A scalable business in the great outdoors
Personable people who are keen to learn
Long-established for 25 years, lawncare franchise Greensleeves is looking for ‘people people’ to join its team of franchisees. If you enjoy delivering world-class service to customers and want to become a trusted expert in this field of lawn care, you are already looking in the right place. You might start out on the van as the local lawn care expert, but ultimately the franchisor is looking for those ambitious enough to employ lawn technicians and grow to a multi-van business in their local territory.
To give you a leg up, Greensleeves has analysed its target customer and then carefully selected territories to ensure there’s plenty of opportunity to market your services to those customers, giving you a much-improved chance of success. With over 80 franchise territories already in operation, there’s limited availability for new areas in the UK, but South Wales, Scotland, Dorset and Devon are an area of focus for the franchisor.
Greensleeves franchise owners normally start their businesses as lawn care experts themselves, which means they can start to earn money right away. Then, as they grow their customer base by delivering a premium lawn care service at an affordable price, they employ team members and add vans and staff as necessary, becoming the managers of their business. As a manager, your role will be diverse, from marketing the business to managing your team and the administration of your company. No day is ever the same.
If you love working outside and you’re a people person who wants to take control of your future and reap the rewards of owning your own business in this growth sector, with recurring income, then a Greensleeves franchise could be yours for £9,995 + VAT – and full funding can be achieved through the government-backed start-up loan scheme.
The right stuff
Do you have what it takes to be successful at franchising? Paul Sheard, national business development and training manager at Propertynest gives an insight into what franchisors are looking for when recruiting.
1. Does your skillset match the franchise?
It’s important not just to join any franchise brand because you like the concept! Consider something you are passionate about or a franchise that resonates with your hobbies, interests and values. However, this is only part of the story. You’ll need to assess if your skillset will match. Be honest with yourself. For example, with a low-cost Propertynest franchise, you need great people skills and be a good listener. We always say that if you can be a good estate agent you will have the diplomatic and problem-solving skills to succeed in working for the United Nations!
2. Have you got your finances in order?
Many potential franchisees fail to understand the true cost of a franchise. They underestimate the cash flow and funding required to support them during the early start-up phase.
No new business will generate instant cash flow, so the best advice is to do your financial homework and be realistic. Most franchisors can introduce new franchisees to external sources of funding and it’s important to consider this from the outset.
3. Are you self-motivated enough?
Running your own franchised business is not like working for an employer. Franchisees must consider if they have the commitment and motivation to succeed. Franchisors call this ‘entrepreneurial flair’.
Don’t forget working for yourself can be lonely. At times it can be an uphill struggle and you need to be resilient and be able to cope with the odd setback. A discussion with existing franchisees in the network can reveal real-life experiences. Listen and ask yourself: have I got the staying power needed to succeed?
4. Is this what you really want? Not sure? Research more!
However, low-cost the franchise opportunity is, don’t just go for it as a knee-jerk reaction. You’re not buying a job, but a business model that will only work with some hard graft on your part. If you’re not sure, more research is needed.
5. Will it weather tough economic times?
In the property sector, people worry that it’s either flying or in the doldrums, but this is not the case. Most property franchises offer a balanced model to cope with different economic market forces.
For example, we encourage franchisees to build a lettings portfolio as well as sell houses. If sales are struggling then the income from lettings tends to do well. For other franchise opportunities, be wary of luxury services or goods as these often suffer in a downturn. A brand with a broad appeal will always do better in tough times.
6. Will you earn enough money?
At Propertynest, we use the ‘Profit First’ model. This means we look at how much a franchisee will need to earn and work backwards to see if their plan is feasible and realistic. With a low-cost franchise, it’s easy to think there is no real risk – ‘I will just put it on a credit card…’ However, with interest rates as high as they are, this could be a costly option if plans don’t work out. Proper research into the financials before making the commitment will ensure that your hard-earned money isn’t wasted on an opportunity that won’t result in sufficient earnings to support you and your family.
7. Is the timing right? are any other life plans about to take your focus away?
Timing is really important when it comes to starting any new business. It will require your full focus – so think ahead. Are you planning to move in the next few years, or start a family? Consider how the timing of this could affect your commitment to start a business.
8. Do you need an exit strategy – What’s the longer-term goal?
Having a long-term goal and exit plan is useful. For example, franchisors regularly help people build up a business to sell. Transparency from the start means the franchisor can help them devise the best strategy to achieve their goal.
Are there any restrictions on becoming a franchisee?
“The short answer is no,” says John Pratt, senior partner at specialist franchise firm Hamilton Pratt. “Being a franchisee is not dependent on high educational attainment or even business experience, but prospective franchisees need to bear in mind that reputable franchisors will only select franchisees who they believe will make a success of their business.”
• Franchisors will always seek to establish whether a candidate has the ability and drive to be successful, as well as the necessary funding to take on the franchise, some of which may be through bank financing
• If a prospective franchisee has been bankrupt or involved in a business that went into insolvent liquidation, external funding may be difficult to obtain.
• Franchisors tend to look for business experience (although not every time, and not necessarily in the same business area of the franchise), family support, adequate financial resources, drive and enthusiasm.
Get the most from your investment
Franchise consultant Richard Pakey VFP, co-owner of Lime Licensing Group, advises new investors on the right course of action for franchising success
• Many franchises are suitable for the Government-backed Start- Up Loans Scheme. This means you might be able to fully fund your business via a loan rather than personal cash, repaying the loan in monthly instalments from your business cash flow.
• Choosing a franchise that you’ll be truly committed to is essential. There’s no point in choosing a franchise that sells at events if you don’t want to interact with people, or if the thought of selling fills you with dread!
• Ensure you have the time to run a part-time or low-cost franchise. If you don’t, the business will not take off at all. So be careful about choosing a franchise that requires you to be operational at weekends, if that’s when you’re already committed.
• Speak with existing franchisees and see how the franchise has worked for them. What does their revenue look like? Most franchisors would be happy for you to do this at an appropriate point, yet most potential franchisees don’t bother.
• Follow the franchisor’s examples first and foremost. They will have been there and done it and made the mistakes so you don’t have to. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
• As your franchise business gets busier, build to scale. Don’t hold your business back by making it all about you – many franchises are simply held back by this limiting strategy.
• Plan for your exit. You might not think about this as you start out, but as you are building a considerable asset, map out at the earliest opportunity the timeframe needed, or what level the business needs to be at, for you to exit profitably.