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How to be your own boss through franchising

How to be your own boss through franchising

I am passionate about the opportunity franchising offers people to run their own business and be their own boss but with the support of a national brand and the framework and systems that that brings. We have a saying which sums it up ‘work for yourself but not by yourself’.

So, is it right for you?

If you harbour a desire to run your own show, are a ‘people person’, have good communication skills, entrepreneurial flair and a desire to grow and develop a business then it’s certainly worth looking into franchising.

5 top tips to achieving franchising success

What are you passionate about?

When setting up a management franchise business you will be managing rather than doing – so don’t exclude a franchise opportunity due to lack of experience.

The franchisor will give you all the necessary training and give you all the tools to run the business. Your challenge is to find the right franchise for you. Franchising allows you to be your own boss but within the wrapper of an established, proven business model.

With Home Instead, for example, you don’t need to have experience of working in the care sector – you will employ a Care Manager for their expertise. But many of our franchise owners join us having struggled to find good quality care for a loved one (so they recognise the gap in the market) or have themselves provided care and support for a family member.

I would suggest that the franchise needs to be a business that is of interest to you. And there are literally hundreds of franchise opportunities out there – from the fast food outlets that we have all heard about to kitchen retailers, oven cleaning and doggy day care. There really is something for everyone.

Do your homework

As would be the case for any new business venture, you need to do your homework – but where’s the best place to start?

I suggest visiting the BFA website. The BFA is the trade association for the British franchising industry. They run seminars (Buy a Franchise is one that runs regularly), there is free online training and information on their members.

You also have the reassurance that they don’t let any franchisor in – their members have to go through an accreditation process so it’s a great place to start your search.

As the world opens up again, you will have the opportunity to attend the franchise shows in person and there are also virtual events you can attend.

Individual franchisors will also run Discovery Days – these offer you the opportunity to find out more about a particular franchise business and are typically ‘by invitation’ following an initial exploratory call.

It’s good to talk

Franchisors like Home Instead who are keen to promote franchising will always be happy to talk to would-be franchisees about the sector in general or their particular opportunity.

We always encourage people thinking of joining our network to speak to our existing franchisees – who better to give you an honest appraisal of the business you are thinking of stepping into?

Seek funding options

The other people to speak to are the banks. Banks such as NatWest, Lloyds and HSBC have specialists who deal with funding for franchise businesses. The good news is that funders look favourably on franchising as a sector. That’s because statistically a franchise business is more likely to succeed than a brand new start up business. And that’s because you aren’t reinventing the wheel.

For Home Instead, the banks will typically fund up to 70 per cent of the funds required which is the franchisee fee plus your working capital. The amount will vary significantly depending on the franchise business you are looking at.

Seize the day

Is there a good time to pursue a new franchise business? I would argue that there is no time like the present if you are an aspiring business owner.

With lockdown restrictions lifting and a return to offices in sight, there are many people who no longer wish to remain employed or part of corporate life and we are seeing a significant increase in enquiries as a result.

The franchising sector as a whole is resilient, there are many opportunities to pursue (something for everyone I’d say), the funders are keen to support; so what’s stopping you?


Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown is an advocate of franchising having worked in the sector since graduating. She sits on the board of the British Franchise Association (BFA) and is Director of Business Development at management franchise brand, Home Instead which has a network of 235 franchised offices across the UK. Here Ruth shares her experience and advice on how to be your own boss through franchising.