David Graham, CEO of Code Ninjas, gives his expert view
The benefits of running a premises-based franchise are endless. But I do understand why some people might have their doubts, especially those looking for that elusive work-life balance.
Here are six benefits of investing in a premises-based franchise - and why it might be the best thing you do for your future:
1. Your base is your brand
Getting your brand name out there is much harder when there’s no physical place to send customers.
Like the famous golden arches or the bright red of the postal service, well branded locations are often instantly recognisable. Essentially, your location is your biggest marketing asset. Investing in a franchise with a fully fitted-out, branded hub is the advertising investment that keeps on giving.
2. Customers buy into what they see
Encouraging customers to invest in something they can’t see is difficult.
At Code Ninjas, when parents enquire about our coding programme we invite them and their kids to come and meet with the franchisee at their local centre. This helps with their overall buying decision because they see, first-hand, just how much we prioritise the well-being of our students and how our kid-centric programme works. It’s physical and interactive proof of our standing in their local community and how popular our sessions are with other families.
This is much harder to envisage from browsing a website or reading online reviews - it really helps consumers buy into our brand.
3. Selling an experience
A premises-based business allows you to sell not just your product or service, but creates an experience for your customer too.
Take a moment to consider trips to your favourite stores, salons, restaurants or vacation spots. The best thing about that experience isn’t always about making a purchase - that’s just one small component of the entire buying process. It’s equally about the customer service, décor, lighting, facilities and general atmosphere or feeling you get from being there.
Operating your franchise from a venue adds a whole new dimension to your customer’s experience. You’re in control of the way your customers feel when they’re in the presence of your brand. A positive experience will not only encourage them to spend, but will keep them coming back, time and time again.
4. A designated ‘work zone’
Operating a premises-based franchise doesn’t just benefit the relationship between you and your customers.
You’ve read the articles about how working from a designated office or location increases productivity - there’s real truth to that. Travelling into work every day gives a sense of purpose and helps with ‘switching off’ at the end of a busy day.
5. Accounts and taxation
However convenient running a franchise from your own home sounds, it does come with a host of extra considerations - not least of all how to apportion utilities and even rent or mortgage costs to the business as legitimate expenses.
Operating from a dedicated business premises will avoid this issue altogether and, although you’ll obviously still have business overheads to factor in, accounting and taxation - both business and personal - becomes a whole lot easier and less expensive.
6. Staff retention
The success of a business can largely be attributed to the employees behind the brand.
When operating a premises-based business, staff have the opportunity to come together as a team much more frequently. And you, as the franchise owner, have the chance to build and foster a great culture within the business.
It’s proven that when staff feel valued and part of a team, they become more loyal to the brand and less likely to move on. The knock-on effect of a loyal and happy team is that your customers receive even better service.