Four questions to ask yourself before buying a franchise

Did you know, over 40% professionals place career enjoyment as a major priority, yet one third of UK professionals feel that their work-life balance has continued to worsen since 2010.

Are you considering buying a franchise? Below are four questions to address before becoming a franchisee.

1. What lifestyle do I aspire to?

Find a franchise that suits your wants, motivations and needs.

Is it life on the road, where you’re out and about visiting new locations and people each day? Maybe it’s flexibility, where you choose the hours you work? Perhaps you enjoy working hard during the week and saving the weekends for leisure time. Or perhaps it’s a combination of the three?

Buying a franchise will change your life in a number of ways. You need to make sure you find the one that gives you both the day-to-day experience you want, as well as the financial rewards that give you the longer term lifestyle that you want.

2. How much do I know about business?

Don’t know anything about business? No problem!

The vast majority of franchisors welcome franchisees with little industry experience, and are usually more interested in ‘soft skills’ such as enthusiasm, a desire to learn, a strong work ethic and passion for customer service.

If you have the business skills already, then buying a franchise and getting it running will be a little easier.

Jill Phillips, a ZipYard franchisee, joined in May 2012 after being made redundant. She had a loose understanding of business practices, but felt that Zipyard was right for her as the levels of support that she received were incredibly helpful.

Her attitude and hard work made her a great fit for the company and she notes that, ‘from the training, which was very hands-on, to the huge level of support I’ve had, it’s all be great. I’ve never felt alone or out on a limb.’

3. What is my budget?

Be realistic about the budget that you have available. Buying a franchise can cost less than £1,000 all the way up to over £1 million.

Be sure to weigh up the initial investment cost against the potential return; how quickly can you make that money back and what will your long term profit margins looks like?

Remember, there are options available to allow you to finance your franchise if you need it.

Banks love franchises thanks to their proven track record of success, so the potential to own your dream franchise could be within reach.

It’s important to make sure that you are in a position to support yourself financially in the early stages of your journey as a franchisee. You will need a few months working capital set aside to cover living costs and overheads.

4. What will be my role in the business?

When you are buying a franchise, there are two positions that you can take on:

  1. Owner-operator. This is the most common as you are involved in running the business first-hand. You perform operational tasks such as store rosters, managing of inventory and dealing with suppliers.
  2. Absentee franchise ownership. This is less common, where you let someone else take on the day to day running of the operation.

Be open about the industry that you’re interested in, you might surprise yourself.

Find out more about the opportunities available to your suit your lifestyle here.

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Sandy Purewal

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