15 December 2015

Happy owner of a cafe showing open sign

When looking at a running a business for the first time, everything can look very daunting and many people are naturally hesitant to take what could turn out to be a risky step. The option of taking on a franchise could be the answer!

The franchise business is booming, with more and more first time entrepreneurs opting to take on a ready-made ‘business in a box’. There are a huge range of business options available, from accountancy to window cleaning, and with investment opportunities from as little as £1000, there really is something out there for everyone.

But is buying a franchise a good idea? Couldn’t I just do it myself?…

…and the answer is yes you could – but franchising does offer some benefits…

1. Successful Track Record

Any good franchise company has developed a method of doing business that works well and produces successful results.

2. Brand Awareness

One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you’re trying to attract.

3. Training & Support

A good franchise company has training programs designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. They should also provide ongoing assistance to franchisees. You’re not alone when you’re building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.

4. Marketing Assistance

They should be able to provide you with proven marketing tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers, as well as help and support to market your business effectively.

5. Purchasing Power

A good franchise can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator. This applies not only to initial furniture and equipment purchases, but also to stock, supplies, stationery – and everything else you’ll need on an ongoing basis.

6. Risk

Buying a franchise can help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business. Make no mistake–you have to do your due diligence. But if you do, you can determine with a fair amount of certainty what will happen and how much you can expect to make.

However all of this comes at a cost, with initial fees and often ongoing contracts!

This list also shows you some of the challenges you’d face if you decide to create your own independent business and some of the work that the franchiser has done for you so you can hit the ground running – however they have also taken away the major decisions and choices.

I’ve always found part of the fun of starting my own business is the freedom of choosing your name, expressing your business in your terms, your choice of branding, choosing to work with your choice of suppliers and services and finding your own path to success. The choice, however, is entirely yours.


Written by Anita Edwards, Nwes Business Advisor.

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