Timing is a critical factor when choosing a business to invest in, 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 you never gave it a shot. Or you might want to do something that helps others or make 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? There are several hundred franchise systems in the UK. You need to choose a franchise that suits your situation and aspirations - and one that has a track record of success. Setting up a new company that then becomes successful enough to offer franchises can also be a question of timing.
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 that help with people’s mobility, like scooters or rise-and-recline chairs.
The company offers its wide product range in supermarket-like stores, where you can buy anything to help with mobility and home care, from a pill box to a stairlift.
20 years ago mobility superstores like Ableworld didn’t 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 one-stop 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’s 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.
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 effective way.
To help this, about one third of the initial franchise fee (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’s important that the training and support continues - both personally and business-wise.
Ableworld’s professional head office and franchise support team ensure 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 taking up a business opportunity that gives you the sort of rewards you can expect from an Ableworld franchise?