Ableworld is the largest mobility retailer in the UK providing products and services to the ever-growing elderly and disabled market. The trusted Ableworld brand was created in 2001 and since 2008 has been offered as the only bfa-registered mobility franchise in the sector.
Care & Elderly Services, Retail
Ableworld is one of the UK’s largest mobility and homecare equipment retailers, providing equipment and specialist support services for the elderly and disabled. It is the only BFA-registered supplier in its industry, and one of the most well-known brands in the sector.
The Ableworld business encompasses two main parts: providing equipment and services to cover a wide variety of needs, and the fitting and maintenance of in-home stairlifts.
Ableworld franchisees can choose to invest in one or both parts of the business, depending on business objectives and goals.
The business is entirely a B2C-based brand, providing services only to consumers, and operating mostly during normal retail hours. As stairlift installations are carried out onsite at customers’ premises, this can sometimes involve more variable times and days, but can be managed by individual franchisees according to their own preferences.
The headquarters of the Ableworld franchise are located in Cheshire.
Territories are available around the country.
To start a franchise with Ableworld, you’ll need to invest a minimum of £25,000, with additional investment into the retail business to set up stock, equipment and premises.
Depending on territory and whether or not you decide to invest in both parts of the franchise, it may require up to £75,000.
As Ableworld is a BFA member, potential franchisees may be able to secure funding support from most major high street banks, for up to 70 per cent of the total investment figure.
Existing franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, before starting a franchise with Ableworld. While there are no specific requirements for potential franchise owners, it can often be helpful to have some experience in the retail industry, or in the healthcare or mobility sector.
The most important qualities to have is a good sense of determination to succeed, a strong desire to make a positive contribution to people’s lives, and the ability to communicate well with others.
The franchise operates primarily as a retail business, and franchisees can expect to run the business as any other retail operation. You’ll need to manage other staff, build relationships with customers and ensure that a high level of service is provided at all times.
For franchisees involved with the stairlift aspect of the Ableworld franchise, you will need to provide additional support, including providing quotations, and installing and repairing the equipment on-site for customers.
It may be helpful to have some previous experience in light engineering, if you plan on carrying out these services yourself, or alternatively, franchisees have the option to hire specialist staff to provide this service instead.
Franchisees are provided with a seven-week training programme to help you familiarise yourself with all aspects of the business. Before launching your franchise, franchisees first undergo comprehensive training at the brand’s head office, covering all of Ableworld’s products and services, and reviewing their business model. You will also spend time with the company’s key suppliers, to understand their specialist products and the customer requirements in greater depth.
This is followed by in-depth time in store, at existing Ableworld franchise branches. You’ll spend time with experienced trainers while observing day-to-day franchise operations.
Once a new franchise store is established, Ableworld’s franchise operation team will also help provide training on-site, with tailored support and advice relating to the specific store and territory.
Ableworld can also provide guidance and advice on all aspects of establishing a retail premise, from helping you find an appropriate property and location, organising the store to ensure the best experience for their typical clientele, and leading you through your first stock order.
Once your Ableworld franchise is established, the head office team is still on hand to provide ongoing advice and support with any issues, with industry mentorship available.
A franchise support manager will continue to visit new franchises on-site until they are comfortably running, and ongoing training is available at all stages of the franchise.
Ableworld provides all of its franchisees with extensive marketing support to help launch their businesses successfully. You’ll have access to a £10,000 marketing budget, a marketing launch pack, and management coaching from the company’s own business management team.
You will also have access to the company’s own marketing materials, such as newsletters, leaflets and brochures, as well as head office support to answer any marketing queries that may arise.
Ableworld is established as one of the leading brands in the mobility industry, and the sector itself is continuing to grow at a rapid rate in the UK, with high levels of demand from the elderly and disabled population.
With over 15m people aged over 60, and a high level of people of all ages requiring specialist support equipment such as walking canes, wheelchairs, stairlifts and other supports and aids, the products and services provided by the company are in highly popular.
Many franchisees have found that the Ableworld business model is a successful and reliable one, with regular training accessible to help them grow their business continually. With an extensive marketing budget to support them from the outset, Ableworld has been able to establish its franchisees successfully, and continued to grow, once they have been ready to do so.
To find out more about starting your own Ableworld franchise, get in touch with the company by clicking on the enquiry button found on this page.
A thank you from all the Directors at Ableworld UK Ltd to their team and suppliers.Without the help and support from all involved Ableworld wouldn't have had such a successful 2014!
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