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.