Peter details his business journey and offers some expert advice
Human Capital Department has been trading for four years. After a slow start, the business had a couple of good trading years and is looking forward to further sales growth.
The company provides operational HR support to local small and medium-sized enterprises in King’s Lynn and the wider East Anglia region, plus strategic HR help for companies further afield.
Working with an equity investment house, the business has developed a process called ‘human capital due diligence’ to assess the strengths of target company’s management teams ahead of investment and now has two clients in this equity/venture capital space, with a marketing strategy for growth.
6 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN FRANCHISING YOUR BUSINESS
• The length of time the business has been trading. I know of a similar HR consultancy that was able to franchise after only two years trading, but believe a longer track record is desirable.
• Financial track record. Our sales and profits are small, but growing.
• Branding. We have a compelling value proposition, mission, vision, values and a name and brand identity that works in regional, national and international markets.
• Marketing strategy and route to market. A combination of traditional PR, social media and occasional radio appearances have helped to get our name out there.
In addition, connecting with prospects on LinkedIn to promote our USP has proved the most effective way of generating sales leads.
We have also partnered with related services, including an e-HR product, employee engagement business and competency and psychometric assessment specialist, giving them a route to market and strengthening our service offer.
• Systems and procedures. We have adopted software packages that work and enable the business to scale, including accounting, customer relationship management and HR, which provides access to HR documentation and tools endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
• Your unique selling proposition. We have developed a suite of products, including a HR tool kit and training materials.
In terms of who may be interested in investing in our franchise, our target market is experienced HR professionals and HR managers, who are in late career and want to set up on their own.
Perhaps they’ve been made redundant or are fed up with corporate life, but recognise that it’s a risk to start a new business on their own. We can provide them with a brand and identity and be confident that it will be successful in their region or territory.
It’s a bit too early for us and we need to grow the sales and profitability further before launching a franchise model, but may be able to pilot the initiative with one or two people who are interested in being early adopters.