There is no denying that the pandemic has changed many people’s outlook on how they work and spend their free time. Long gone are the days when people were happy to work just to generate an income.
Now, after two years of being able to reflect on our relationships, habits and work-life balance, it is equally important for people to do something meaningful and to be in control of their futures.
Franchising provides an excellent solution for people looking for more than just generating an income. Jenine Butroid, the founder and CEO of Supporting Minds, a counselling franchise that provides a range of professionally recognised training and therapy services, gives her advice on why franchising offers far more than just generating an income.
The number of people considering franchising as a viable solution to starting a business continues to increase. And even though the franchise industry contributes more than £15 billion to the UK economy – a figure which has risen by 46 per cent over the last 10 years – and numerous franchises have proven themselves to be recession and pandemic proof over the past five years, a great income is not the only reason people are interested in the idea of franchising.
Franchising allows you to align your beliefs with your business
Deciding to invest in a franchise is a big decision. However, deciding who to franchise with is an even bigger one. Whatever the industry you are passionate about, be it food, education, business, mental health or something else, ensuring that you have the same values and beliefs as your franchisor is essential. Customers or clients that use your services will always recognise when a franchisee fully respects and is behind a company’s mission. So, by ensuring early doors that you believe in a franchise’s values and goals, the day-to-day operations of your business will run much more smoothly and make for a better experience for everyone involved.
Owning a franchise is like being in a relationship: it should be a win-win for both franchisor and franchisee and be an interdependent partnership. The company should feel like they have acquired someone who will represent the brand and their values wholeheartedly, while you should feel as though you are valued and respected.
To find out if you share values with your franchisor:
1. Take a moment to reflect on what is important to you in your personal life and in business. You may already have an established solid set of values you live by.
2. Create a mission statement around these or simply write them out in a list.
3. Challenge yourself by asking what values you would build your ideal business upon.
As amazing as the experience will be, starting a new business can prove challenging, whether you are qualified in the industry you are going into or not. However, sharing the same values as those who can support you through challenging times is vital. Having shared goals and being immersed within the company’s culture can make those days much easier to get through. It will also make the good days more enjoyable as you will be able to celebrate successes with those who understand the value of your achievements.
You can choose something that gives you a great work-life balance
If you ask people at a younger age what their dream career is, they rarely answer with a mundane nine-to-five job. I would argue that most people would answer the question with a career that allows them a life of flexibility and freedom. While it may not be as glamorous as becoming an international pop star, YouTuber or footballer, owning a franchise could make this dream a reality. However, you must choose the right type of franchise opportunity.
There is a plethora of franchises across the UK, so chances are there will be one that fits your passions. Although, before you go and make an investment, it is recommended that you ensure the franchise of your choice matches the lifestyle you want. For example, if you are a parent and want to be there for your children after school, a home-based franchise could be perfect for you. A home-based franchise opens up the opportunity to only work certain days a week to limit the amount of money spent on childcare. However, you will only be able to work while your kids are at school or sleeping.
Another example could be a seasonal franchise. You may decide that you only want to work certain months of the year to allow you to pursue other interests. This is where a seasonal franchise would be perfect. Take an ice cream business, for example. This can give you the flexibility of running a business in just the summer months whilst enjoying lengthy skiing holidays when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Anything is possible if you do your homework and buy the franchise that is best suited for you. Achieving a good work-life balance should increase your overall happiness and mean you are less stressed. A happy franchisee is usually a profitable one too.
You have a safety net of working within a franchise model
Starting a business on your own is scary enough — Covid-19 made it scarier. In fact, it was widely reported even before the pandemic that 20% of businesses fail within the first year, and after ten years, 70% of them are gone. Now, it is fair to assume these percentages will be a lot higher. However, a franchise offers you an oven-ready business with a foundation in place, a great brand reputation, start-up support, and training throughout your contract with the franchisor.
There is an obvious appeal to starting a business by buying a franchise, especially as starting your own business from scratch often comes with many unknowns. However, it is important to remember that being part of a franchise network does not make your business bulletproof. Just because a franchise is already a successful model, there is no guarantee of success, and hard work and determination are required for it to thrive.