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Business in a box

Business in a box

Ableworld’s Paul Boniface answers the most commonly asked franchisee applicant question

Why would you buy a franchise and pay royalties instead of doing your own thing?

Owning your own business is a dream most people have at some point in their careers. Not everyone actually tries to do it, of course, as often when it comes to the crunch the reality of the responsibilities involved can be overwhelming next to the security of a monthly salary.

For those determined to do it, however, there is the appeal of doing everything yourself. It’s all yours, you have the ideas, you put them into practice and when it pays off you keep all the profit. Sounds good to me, so why buy a franchise?

In profit

This year the British Franchise Association and NatWest released the results of their UK franchise industry survey. One of the standout findings was that 93 per cent of franchisees reported profitability.

Now, if the accepted wisdom that the majority of business start-ups close their doors before reaching year five is true, then 93 per cent of franchisee owned units reporting profitability is an impressive statistic.

Next, you have to look at why that might be. Franchising stacks the cards in your favour, as someone has already created a brand, proven a business model and documented the systems and procedures that made them successful. Not only do they pass that all over to you, they provide you with all the training and ongoing support you’ll need to make a success of replicating that business in another location.

If this sounds a bit like buying a job, it isn’t. The business is yours and it will be up to you to put in the hard work required to reap the benefits, but so many of the risks have been reduced.

The reality of starting from scratch is that you have to first have a great idea for a business and then determine how to run it profitably, followed by finding sufficient funds to launch your, as yet, unproven new venture. There’s no blueprint, training or support, which is the opposite of franchising and goes a long way to explaining why franchisees pay ongoing monthly royalties.

Proven business model

At Ableworld, we have a proven business model with an 18-year trading history. We have a large head office team filled with experts in marketing, HR, purchasing, IT, finance, legal and engineering.

We have 35 stores around the country, which gives us incredible buying power versus an independent. We have a large network of franchisees who contribute to our marketing and advertising budget. That pooled resource means we can promote the brand in ways a sole trader could only dream of.

Our franchisees are a wonderful mix of people. Some came to us with sales backgrounds, some from the armed forces, retailing, public service, teaching, the automotive industry, construction and engineering.

Many of them are running a business for the first time. What they all had in common was the desire to have their own business in a lucrative sector where they could build a valuable asset for their and their families’ futures. They also wanted to do something they could be proud of.

In demand

There are currently 15 million people aged 60 and above in the UK and the government predicts that in 10 years’ time nearly 25 per cent of the population will be over 65. People are living longer and, as they age, they frequently need the products Ableworld offers, such as mobility scooters, specialist furniture and stairlifts.

As part of a franchise network, our franchisees are in a much stronger position to embrace these market opportunities than they could as sole operators. I am proud the Ableworld franchise continues to allow so many people to achieve their ambitions - long may it continue.

At a glance Ableworld

Name of franchise: Ableworld
Established: 2001
Number of outlets: 35
Location of outlets: nationwide
Investment range: £75,000-£80,000
Minimum capital required: £30,000
Contact: or 01270 613599