It can reduce the risk of business failure and may prove to be more cost efficient than starting from scratch, Debbie Gilbert says
If you need to get a business up and running quickly, a franchise may be the option for you as you’re buying a complete proven business model.
It can also dramatically reduce the risk of business failure and may also prove to be more cost efficient than starting a business from scratch.
Here are six reasons why a franchise might be the best way forward to becoming a successful business owner:
All the research has been done for you
One of the biggest reasons starts-up fail is lack of market research.
By buying a franchise, the franchisor has done all that already. It has ironed out all the issues, ensured the market needs the offering and developed a system.
It has invested time and money refining the product or service into a successful model customers want, at a price they want to pay. This saves you time and effort working out if you have a viable business idea.
The branding is complete
Spending time and money on creating a brand, complete with a logo and marketing materials, is not required when you buy a franchise.
Your franchisor will have an existing logo, a website and usually leaflets and business card templates you can use. The brand may already be well established, which helps massively when attracting new customers.
Having all this completed and ready to go will save lots of time and expense, meaning you’re ready to trade straight away.
Systems are in place
With a franchise, a whole customer relationship and management system should be included. This saves you trial and error trying to work out how to process and manage orders or how to maintain customers and gain repeat business.
You should be able to replicate the systems your franchisor uses all the way through the business - from marketing and sales to accounts. This means the business will run efficiently from the start and leave you time to focus on growing sales.
Bulk discounts on products and services
If your franchisor has an established network of franchisees, it should be able to pass on bulk discounts on goods or services to you. If you started your business from scratch, these would be far more difficult to obtain.
These discounts can mean huge savings, which helps to make the business more profitable.
Training and advice
Buying a franchise means you can start a business in an industry you know nothing about, as your franchisor will train you and share its advice and industry knowledge. This is invaluable and can fast track you to success.
Some franchisors may offer certified training in certain industries, so always check if the training is accredited and ensure it’s high quality. Ensure you fully understand what training you will receive and if there are any ongoing requirements for training. If there is, check if this is included or if you will have additional fees to pay.
Starting a business can be lonely. It can be great to be part of something bigger.
With advice at the end of phone and regular meetings with the franchisor and other franchises, you won’t feel isolated. It’s great to have people to bounce ideas off and provide motivation and support if issues arise.
Being part of a franchise can feel like you’re part of a big company, while retaining the benefits and flexibility of working for yourself.
Buying a franchise must be carefully researched. Ensure you have carefully weighed up the pros and cons, understood what the ongoing fees are and what is included in the franchise package.
Make sure you research the franchisor, business and brand carefully in your chosen location. Research the industry and the reputation of the franchise within it. Get some independent advice and talk to other franchisees.
Finding the right franchise for you could be a secure, fast and reliable way to start a business without having to work out your own ideas. The result could be a business that’s profitable much quicker than if you set up on your own.
Debbie Gilbert is a highly successful mumpreneur. She is author of The Successful Mumpreneur (£14.99 Panoma Press), a marketing expert and founder of the Best Business Women Awards.
Debbie started her business in 1998 when the internet was in its infancy. 20 years on and it is thriving. In 2011 she launched Mums UnLtd to support other mumpreneurs.