To become a successful individual, you’ve made a decision that you will become your own boss. However, upon a closer inspection, you encounter scary data – startup failure rates are 90% and higher. Although the percentage is a bit better for new businesses, the 70% failure rate is still a scary number. What are your choices then? You should maybe consider franchising! There are many in the UK that attempt to buy a franchise (even from famous brands). It has certainly fewer risks and you have continual support every step of the way – something not easily acquired if you are a startup owner.
- Understand the structure of a business
Whether you decided on a franchise or not, you cannot just walk into the world of business without having any idea about it. Setting up a business of a different structure requires a different set of skills from you regarding the industry you want to be a part of. However, being an entrepreneur equals having a strong attitude and leadership skills which are independent of the chosen structure. If without a degree in business, economics, or similar, do not forget to learn the basics. Try getting an internship or a lower position to experience what does the business look like and feels from the employee’s point of view. For example, you can’t expect to become one of the top dogs in Bristol (where tech industries thrive) with the knowledge of a startup food business owner’s mindset and knowledge. You have to adapt to the market’s needs and demands.
- Self-evaluation: Being gritty
The key point where you need to make a decision whether you are cut out for this job or not is to recognize yourself. Being honest with yourself is not an easy task, although it is an obligatory stepping stone in becoming a business owner. Your strengths, your weaknesses, where are you in your private life, are you ready to work a lot, to completely devote yourself to something for at least two years? Objectivity is an important skill for a manager, so do not skip this step to improve yourself. Resolve can change your circumstances, but it has to be your own grittiness. A market as competitive as the UK’s isn’t a place for the faint of heart. Be prepared and don’t throw a spanner in the works when facing minor inconveniences.
- Research brands
Experiencing the market is not the same as researching it. The data you can acquire nowadays is quite easily obtained, especially regarding customer and ex-employee experience. Reddit, Google, Facebook, and many other websites have the option to share the experience and opinion on the brand, their own experience, and even to provide factual details about a brand, a store, or an employee. If you decided on the industry you want to work in, research all franchise opportunities. Each separately offers different conditions, and by choosing either a big franchise or a smaller franchise in the trending industry, do not be put off from contacting multiple franchises and exploring each option as much as you want. Don’t shy away from going for the big names like B&M or HSBC.
- Networking – contact different franchise directors and ask
One of the main benefits of becoming a franchisee is the support in the proven business structure. Upon contacting and receiving packs of documents about opening a franchise of at least a few different brands, The most important document you shall receive and thoroughly check out is a Franchise Disclosure Document (or FDD). This document ensures that all the information is clear and legal while providing you with the estimation on the amount of money you need to invest and other legal obligations with any predicted fee. Although there is no consensus on the amount of disclosed information, there are always representatives you can consult for additional details. After careful consideration, following consultation with a legal and financial advisor, make a choice you want to with or look further. You are the only side you must completely satisfy.
- While being in the contact with a selected franchise, learn
As previously mentioned, when you get in contact with anyone in the business, use the opportunity to ask questions. To prepare these questions you must first do your background research and carefully read all the documents, fliers, and e-mails you have received. There is no wrong choice when it comes to the franchisor, but there is when it comes to you. Investigate the franchise locations you can get to personally, check out the location, the employees, and ask for the manager. Go prepared and do understand that a franchisee is a busy person, especially if the store is not even two years old. Check out the old employees, contact the representatives with any prepared set of questions – in the end, you should check out every part of the franchising business.
- Be up to date with marketing trends
When considering franchise on sale, you can easily skip the marketing, since, the brand and the marketing team, strategy, and history already exist, right? Well, that is not completely true. A new location means a new neighbourhood, therefore do not sleep on the importance of local marketing. Social media has the great possible – using local and neighbourhood groups on Facebook, hashtags and location on Instagram, and, of course, Twitter. But you already knew that. You will come upon these pieces of advice everywhere. Depending on your chosen franchise and industry, together with the location, you are opening at, look at the demographic statistics. Maybe the old way of a big mascot and employees sharing fliers is not a bad idea or a visit to the local radio or television station? Play with the content and adjust it to your desired target customer. Either way, you have help in franchise expertise.
- Carefully choose your employees
The best employees out there aren’t found – they are trained, respected, and have a true leader in their boss. The first few years are the ones where most of the work has to be done by everyone, including you. That is precisely why we have previously mentioned the time and effort you are willing to put into the work. There is no better way to set an example than being the example yourself. If that sounds like too much pressure, go back to the first two points of this text. It is your business, and you are the one leading it. There is often the training from the franchise provided for at least you and your manager of the store. But, even the constant support from the franchise representatives cannot do much if you are not on the spot, fully aware of most of the activities happening during any working day.
- Everything is your responsibility – SMART planning
All of the steps you will take need proper preparation and a plan behind them. In every part of your franchising journey, have everything written somewhere. Every step can easily be measured by using a simple SMART goal-setting technique. When planning each activity or making a decision, check with yourself – Is my goal Specific? Is my goal Measurable in results? Is it realistically Achievable? At this point, is it Realistic? The last one would be the answer to the question – Can I anchor it within a Time Frame?
Setting up a business is a risk, even in a franchising world. With careful preparation, an open mind, and readiness to learn and adapt, you can change your future. Becoming part of a big story certainly does not mean you can make your story big. Good luck!
My name is Jacob Braun, a writer and a fan of most things online. I write about marketing, small businesses, social media-related subjects and other business-related issues. As a member of the marketing team in our firm, we offer a franchise for sale.