5 Things To Know About Franchising
Are you thinking about starting a small business?
Do you want to be your own boss and choose your own hours?
Should you consider a franchise business opportunity?
Anne-Marie Martin the founder of Diddi Dance started dancing at an early age. After her degree in dance she performed all over the world alongside teaching children and adult dance classes. In 2003 she saw a gap in the market for preschool dance classes and after their success decided to franchise the business 3 years later. With over 40 franchisees in the network, Diddi Dance covers over 50 territories across the UK.
1. What is franchising?
The term franchising is used by many different businesses and formats and can be a little confusing. In the UK a franchise offering is a proven business model that has been operating for many years. It’s a “business in a box” that is awarded to a franchisee to run in their own EXCLUSIVE territory following brand guidelines. A common confusion is with licenses and MLM which franchising is not. The territory and extensive training and ongoing support are key.
2. What are the benefits of franchising?
Many people want to work for themselves, they want to control their own destiny through running a business but they may not have an idea of what that is or want to start something from scratch. This is where franchising is of great benefit. So many businesses across so many industries and sectors are franchises so you can find something that might suit you, whether its food or services, education or activities. Like any business, you should find something you’re passionate about as a franchise does not mean guaranteed success, that still comes down to the amount of work a franchisee puts into it. A franchise offering gives full detailed training, operations manuals, guidance, branding, technical and online know-how and ongoing support to get it running. Franchising definitely means you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.
3. What support should I receive?
As the main benefit of franchising support is key. From your initial training to ongoing operations a franchisor and the HO team should be on hand to help with your business. Advice, guidance, artwork, templates, branding and various forms of communication should all be included. You should have the freedom to run your business without interruption, as long as within guidelines, but always have someone there on hand to help whenever you need it. The network of other franchisees should be encouraging and supportive too.
4. What is the financial setup?
Franchise fees will depend on the returns available. Some franchise setups with a more flexible and home-style set up can come in at a low start-up cost from as little as a few thousand pounds. Larger setups with premises or vehicles, stock and equipment can come into the hundreds of thousands but should be relevant to the turnover and profits achievable within that business model. As well as an upfront fee franchises then work on either a % or fixed monthly fee. Some offerings may also charge for extra services and a national marketing levy so make sure you research all the ongoing fees as well as looking at the upfront cost. Remember a franchise does not guarantee financial success and will always come down to the determination of the franchisee.
5. Where can I find out more?
There are many websites that not only list franchise offerings but also give lots of advice for other details to consider before buying into a franchise network. Look at franchise organisations and accredited associations such as EWIF and the BFA. They can also offer impartial advice on what to look for in an ethical franchise offering. Once you feel confident to look further look at the company’s franchise page and listings and get a feel for the businesses that fit in with your ideas and lifestyle.