Could A Franchise Be Your Way To Career Independence?

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In 2019, there were 5 million self-employed people in the UK (Source: GOV.UK). Many people dream of being their own boss and working for themselves. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning your future career. Some people simply decide to freelance and consult in their area of expertise. Others want a total change in direction. 

One option you may not have considered is buying a franchise. Not be confused with a Multi-Level-Marketing scheme, a franchise lets you buy into an already established business concept, and run it yourself, semi-independently. 

Like all self-employment options, there are pros and cons. But choose wisely, and a franchise could be your ticker to your dream career and becoming your own boss. 

What types of franchises are available? 

Here’s the good part. Franchise opportunities are available in almost every sector, from a driving school franchise, through to marketing, cleaning, dog walking, cafes. You name it, there’s probably a franchise for it. 

What are the advantages? 

There are a number of things that make buying a franchise a preferred option. 

  • The planning legwork is already done for you. As you aren’t starting a business from scratch, there will already be a sound business plan and strategy in place. 
  • Less chance of failure. While there are no guarantees that a business will be successful. A well-chosen franchise, with a solid business model and reputation, will often stand a better chance of succeeding. 
  • Lenders often prefer it. If you need to borrow money to buy a franchise, lenders require you to prove that it is a solid business concept with a good chance of succeeding. Popular franchises that are already successful are seen as a safer bet, so you are more likely to get finance
  • You’ll receive more support. Franchisees will often benefit from help in other business areas such as accounting, marketing, and supplier handling. The level of support you receive will depend on the franchise model you are using but you should expect to receive additional support in a lot of areas. 
What are the disadvantages? 

No franchise option is perfect. You need to consider all of the pros and cons before you make a decision. Some of the potential disadvantages are: 

  • You have less control over the business. Even though you are working for yourself and have a good deal of autonomy, it is ultimately not your business, and decisions on its direction and branding will be made by the franchise holder. If you’re looking for complete control, this might not be the way to go. If another franchise holder does something that affects the perception of the brand, your business could feel the backlash. 
  • Entry costs can be high. Buying a franchise can cost a lot more than starting up a business from scratch. Additionally, you’ll be paying franchise fees too. These usually involve a standard monthly or annual fee as well as a percentage of your profits. This can really add up over the course of a year. 

When deciding on your career path, a franchise is definitely worth considering. It allows you to take advantage of an already established business model and can be quicker and easier than starting a business up from scratch. 

 

5 Ways of Marketing Your Small Business Effectively

One of the major problems businesses have is marketing. Marketing entails that you put your products or services in front of the right audience and persuade them to buy from you. How you market your business will determine its success.

 

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Small businesses now have available marketing strategies that can help them grow. However, just like every good strategy you’ll enjoy the full benefits when you are consistent. To help your small business market effectively, I have put together 5 ways you can get started with right now.

  1. Create quality content in your blog

I can’t stress enough the importance of owning a blog. Unfortunately, small businesses aren’t taking full advantage of consistently creating blog posts that their audience will find valuable.

You can produce high quality content that will position you as an expert in your industry or share stories about how your business, product or service changed the lives of your clients. Evergreen content that contain tips, tricks and hacks that your audience will find handy make amazing content you can put on your blog.

Great content consistently it makes your target audience keep coming back. Strategically putting out content will help to increase the visibility of your small business. In the long run, you are consistently marketing your business as well as building relationship with your audience who are your potential clients and creating trust.

 

  1. Invest in email marketing

The email marketing strategy is about collecting the email addresses of your potential clients and marketing your business and offers via email.

It starts off by creating a resource that your audience will find valuable. This resource is called a lead magnet. It could come in form of an eBook, a mini course or a checklist. The essence of the lead magnet is to give it out for free in exchange for the email address of your target audience. Once you have their emails, you can send out periodic emails giving more value and marketing your business.

 

  1. Try video

Videos are so much easier to consume and they work as a great way of marketing your business. Just the same way you create quality content for your blog, create valuable content on video. Since it’s easier to consume more people will be drawn to watch your videos.

There are so many kinds of content you can create for the videos. For example, you can show a behind-the-scenes of how you run your business to help create trust in your brand. You can also conduct interviews with your clients and ask them about their experiences with your business, products or services. And of course, you can advertise your offers on video.

 

  1. Leverage on social media

Most, if not all, of your potential clients are on social media. Social media creates a level playing ground to build relationship with your target audience. Use it as a means to connect with them, ask feedback about your offers and help them out with their problems or give them great advice.

If you have some money to invest, you can expand your reach with ads. This will help you connect with more people faster.

 

  1. Collaborate with complementary businesses

One marketing strategy that few small businesses use is collaboration. When you collaborate with a business that has a larger reach or client base than you, you are indirectly marketing your business to an already established target market.

Collaboration can come in different forms like a joint sale, promo or package. The best part about it is that both you and the business you collaborate with get to enjoy the benefits of the collaboration.

 

 

 

 

3 Finance Tips for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed is amazing. It is one of the best things I have ever done. I really can’t imagine working for anyone ever again. It feels liberating to be able to dictate the pace in which I work. And being able to work from home whilst care for my growing kids is a blessing. I am super thankful everyday for this amazing life I have been blessed with.

 

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Having said that, managing the finances can be a little tricky when you are self-employed. Especially when you are dealing with clients that never pay your invoices on time. I have had to put on my accountant hat to keep my business thriving. For those who do not know, I have a degree in Accounting (graduated university in 2006) but only practised for 1 year. The story surrounding that is a whole new blog post for another day.

Here are some finance tips I have picked up in my self-employment journey.

 

Be Careful with Credit

As a self-employed person, you need to be very careful with credit, especially credit cards. You may find it super easy to shop on your credit cards, especially when you are dealing with late payments and need to survive. If you must get some kind of credit to survive, make sure you understand the payment terms and don’t get carried away with spending money that isn’t yours.

If you have to deal with unforeseen circumstances and need quick money, a company like Cash Lady could come in handy. This company helps customers to find short-term finance solutions. So they are good for when your boiler or car break down, or when you need money quickly for urgent home improvements.

 

Keep Records

I am always on top of my records. Leaving it all until the end of the tax year will stress the life out of me. So I make a note of money coming in and going out.

Sending invoices is a great way to keep track of your money. I always send out an invoice for every project I work on. Even if the client does not request one. I need it for my books, so I get invoices sent out for my records.

 

Claim the Expenses

When filing my tax return, I make sure I claim every expense. This advice also links back to the keeping records tip. I always keep track of every expense, all year round. This makes it easier for me to claim the right amount of expenses. If you are not sure what you could claim as an expense, here is a detailed list of all expenses the self-employed are allowed to claim.

 

I hope you find these finance tips useful. If you have any finance tips for the self-employed, please share in the comments section below.

 

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