Why do you want to buy a franchise?
When embarking on any new venture, it’s essential that you take a long-term business view and define your end goal. Buying a franchise is no exception.
As you scroll for inspiration and ideas on the internet, do you really know why you want to buy a franchise? For some, it’s a way of escaping someone else’s red tape. For others, it’s to build a legacy that can be passed on to family members.
Jamie Williamson, the franchisee of logistics recruiter Driver Hire Portsmouth saw his franchise as a business he could pass on to his children, should they wish;
“When I started to look at Driver Hire, I soon learnt about the strength of the brand as the UK’s market leader for supplying temporary staff to the logistics sector. Even though I had no experience, I could see it was a straightforward business my children could eventually come in and run.”
Whatever your motivation to run your own business, you need to know your end goal. Knowing where you are heading sets the course for your business and provides you with manageable milestones to aim for and focus on. Here are three top motivators that could be driving you.
It’s all about the money!
Running a franchised business certainly can be lucrative. In the UK alone – according to the latest British Franchise Association (bfa) NatWest Franchise Industry survey in 2018 – franchising turns over £17.2 billion annually and 93% of franchise units are profitable. Little wonder that so many people are eager for a slice of the action.
Building up a franchise, increasing its value and selling it on is a common motivation for those looking to build a pension pot or move onto their next challenge. If this is your driving force, then profitable business growth will be a major focus of your business plan. Luckily for you, as you investigate your options, the franchise model is usually based on a tried and tested method of conducting business. This means there should be plenty of support and advice on hand to help you build up significant capital value on your initial investment.
Gary Riches, Driver Hire Colchester’s franchisee is focused on maximising his return on investment.
“Operating at the £1m turnover mark, naturally I’m looking to grow the business even further to maximise its future sale price. The business has changed my life and my family life considerably, compared to being employed. It’s been a great move and I love what I do.”
Finding that balance
Whether you want to reduce your hours, or simply be in charge of when your working day starts and finishes, it’s possible to enjoy a better work-life balance with the right franchise, at the right time. If this is the case for you, choose your franchise carefully. Don’t be under the misapprehension that buying a franchise, as opposed to setting up your own business, will offer you an easy life. As with any new business or venture it is definitely hard work at the start. You may even find, to begin with, you’re putting in far more hours than originally anticipated.
Once your business is off the ground, you should be able to better manage your time by hiring a team you can trust, to support you or carry out the service you provide.
Diane Maxwell from Driver Hire Belfast certainly backs up this practice and comments:
“Running your own business can be hard work, but as my business grew, I was able to take on staff and achieve a much better work-life balance. Building a team, you can trust means you can step away from your business and know that it’s in safe hands. As a result, I’m now able to work a four-day week.”
Be my own boss!
Whilst not strictly a business end goal this is arguably the biggest attraction of becoming a business owner: the chance to be your own boss. For you, making money and the work-life balance may seem part and parcel of being a franchisee. Whilst this can be true, it isn’t a given. Franchising is known as a safer route into business ownership, nonetheless, you do need to adhere to the instructions set out in your franchise agreement and the operations manual. The amount of control you have will vary between the different franchise models out there (all 935 in the UK), so check the fine print and speak to existing franchisees.
Says Andrew Padgett from Driver Hire Ashford & Canterbury:
“Before deciding to buy a franchise, I worked in retail sales for the local electric company. I got fed up with the politics of a large organisation and decided that if the right franchise opportunity came along, I would go for it. Running my Driver Hire franchise is financially rewarding, mentally challenging and its flexibility enables me to have a good work-life balance.”
Here are some top tips to help your end-goal decision-making process. Write down a wish list and whittle this down to your primary objective. Writing a list of pros and cons to becoming a franchise owner might help as well as asking those close to you to sense check your thoughts. Keep your goal in mind once you have settled on it throughout your research, business planning and buying process. Don’t forget your short-term goals; small steps to bigger things!
The featured franchisees in this article all chose Driver Hire, a five times bfa HSBC ‘Franchisor of the Year’ award winner that has been franchising since 1987. Franchisees run a logistics staff focused recruitment business. The entry-level investment for a Driver Hire start-up opportunity is from £35,000. As a Driver Hire franchisee you should be aiming to achieve a net profit of over £140,000 per annum.
This article was first published on page 98-99 in Elite Franchise Magazine (March 2019)