Philip Milburn, head of Mr Electric and Aire Serv, reveals his top five reasons why investing in a franchise is an excellent idea for individuals considering becoming their own bosses
Setting up a new business can be a difficult and arduous task, which is why more people who want to be their own bosses are turning to franchising instead of starting a business from scratch.
Here are my top five reasons why investing in a franchise is an excellent idea:
Ability to sell the business
When the time comes to sell their companies or retire, many business owners find that they are unable to. Often they have built their company around themselves - and so the business has no resale value. They did not know how to position their business as a high value entity that could contribute significantly to their retirement savings.
A lack of a tried and tested system for running the business on a day-to-day basis means no one can run it apart from the owner. Owning a franchise and then selling it on means the new owner has a much better chance of succeeding. The business model has been proven and there will be a support team in place to offer advice and guidance throughout the transition period.
Individuals invest in a franchise because it is a faster way of establishing and growing a business. Setting up a company on your own can take time, as in most cases there’s a significant amount of ground work to be done before it becomes profitable.
A franchise may not be profitable in the early stages, but the chances of growth are much higher than for an independent start-up. Crucial factors such as an established customer base and a proven business model all ensure that a franchise can be successful within a shorter space of time than if you started a business from scratch.
Quality of life
Running a business is no easy task, especially if you’ve only got a small number of employees to rely on or are doing everything yourself. Being your own boss can mean long working hours and little time for family or other personal commitments.
Owning a franchise offers a much different way of life. The initial work of establishing the business has already been done for you. As a result, the brand is usually well known and there is already a market for the products or services you are selling. Franchisees also receive ongoing support from the franchisor, who has made an investment in your success.
With a proven system in place, once up and running many franchises can be left in the hands of trusty employees, allowing the owner to enjoy a good work-life balance. It is much harder to leave a business in the hands of someone else if it has been built by and around the owner.
Research and development
Many owners fail to research and develop their businesses in order to stay ahead of the competition. Industry changes are sometimes so rapid that it is almost impossible for an owner/managed business to keep up to date with them.
In contrast, franchisors will often have a team of people in place dedicated to the research and development of their businesses. Any new information, products or services are then disseminated among the franchisee network.
Most established franchises have nationally recognised branding, which helps franchisees significantly when it comes to building trust with customers.
As an example, an electrician looking to set up in business on his own would have to invest a significant amount of time and money establishing his company in the local area. An individual who has purchased a franchise, on the other hand, may begin day one of trading with customers already in place because of a franchisor’s proven brand and pre-launch marketing efforts.