Timing is a critical factor when choosing a start a business, as retail market leader Ableworld has proved
When is a good time to go into business for yourself? When is the timing just right for a new business? Both of these questions are important considerations for someone thinking of buying a franchise.
The answer to the first question is, of course, a personal one and varies from individual to individual. It may be that you’re at a point in your life where you need a fresh challenge. Or owning your own business may have been a long held ambition and you don’t want to feel that you never gave it a shot. Or you might want to do something that helps others or makes a contribution to your community.
Starting a new business is a great opportunity to get what you want from your working life, but it’s not without its risks. One way of mitigating those risks is to join an established company by taking a franchise.
But which business franchise to choose? You need to choose a franchise that suits your situation and aspirations - and one that has a track record of success and great prospects for the future.
Take Ableworld, the country’s largest specialist mobility retailer, as a case in point. It sells products and services mainly to the older members of society; products that help with people’s mobility like scooters or rise and recline chairs.
Ableworld offers its wide product range in supermarket-like stores, where you can buy anything to help with mobility and homecare - from a pill box to a stairlift.
Gap in the market
20 years ago mobility superstores like Ableworld did not exist. If you wanted something for your elderly relative it was hard to find, poorly packaged and likely to be overpriced. Ableworld’s founder, Mike Williams, who has been in retail all his working life, spotted a gap in the market for a modern, onestop mobility shop offering products and services to a growing market.
Mike timed the expansion of the company just right to coincide with the elderly population increasing rapidly and living longer. And it’s a trend that is set to continue. Government predictions are that by 2030 there will be 20 million people aged 60 and over, nearly a third of the population.
A lot of these people will need the products and services supplied by Ableworld. And Ableworld wants like-minded franchisees to join it in capitalising on this growing market.
For many people, the idea of helping others is an important factor in feeling that what you do day in, day out gives you ‘job satisfaction’.
Working in an environment where every product you sell improves the quality of someone’s life is for many of Ableworld’s franchisees very satisfying.
As David Gaff ney, an Ableworld franchisee near Edinburgh, says: “When we opened the business, we never for a minute realised how rewarding and humbling it is to deal with some of the wonderful customers who come through our door who are in need of guidance and advice on products to support their daily living.”
The sort of support you can expect from a franchisor is vital if you are to make an early and sustained success of your business. Getting franchisees off to a flying start includes getting the business itself launched in the most eff ective way. To help this, approximately £10,000 is invested in a marketing campaign around the launch of a new franchise.
And once the dust has settled from the surge of business that comes in after the launch, it is important that the training and support continues both personally and business-wise.
Ableworld’s professional head office and franchise support team ensure that momentum is not lost during those early critical months and beyond.
So whatever your personal reasons for change are, is now the right time for you to invest in your future by getting involved in a growing sector whose time has truly come?