Why Franchising as an Alternative Career?

If you have ever harboured aspirations to start your own business, then franchising should be at the top of your research list. This point is particularly true if you are looking to start a business as a 2nd career, where you will almost certainly have different goals, timeframes and risk appetite compared to what you may have had earlier in your career.

There are many viable reasons why you should spend the time researching franchising as an alternative career. Here are a few of the major ones:

A Proven Business Model

A proven business model is nothing more than a combination of tried and tested systems that work in harmony to produce a series of desirable results. These results will be a mixture of value for the end customer, profit for you as the business owner, employment for those seeking a job and taxes paid to the government.

The systems that combine to create the overall business model will cover everything from:

  • Marketing systems that sell your products and/or services.
  • Sales systems that turn leads into paying customers.
  • Delivery systems that service the customer in the best way possible.
  • Recruitment systems for finding and recruiting employees.
  • HR systems for managing the affairs of those employees.
  • Training systems for staff and associates.
  • Monitoring and reporting systems for overall business management.
  • IT systems to record and store customer and supplier data.
  • Customer Service systems for handling customer enquiries and complaints.
  • Inventory systems for managing products.
  • Financial systems for managing all aspects of the business finances.
  • R&D systems for developing new products/services.
  • And much more…

The challenge that comes with starting a business independently is that you are starting from a blank canvass. You must ‘figure everything out’ for yourself, which is a process of trial and error that can take a long-time to come to fruition and cost a substantial amount of money.

When starting out as an independent business you must:

  • Create products and/or services from scratch, which requires investment in R&D.
  • Continue to modify and adapt your products and/or services until you get a tight ‘product/market’ fit.
  • Figure out who your target audiences are.
  • Figure out how you will go about marketing your products and/or services the target market.
  • Try, test, and develop scripts of what to say to customers and potential customers at each stage of the sales and customer service process.
  • Figure out small business accounting, including PAYE for employees.
  • Develop employee training and development systems.
  • Development recruitment and management processes
  • Develop KPI’s and management accounting processes to monitor and improve business performance.
  • Identify, trial, and implement IT systems that support each function of your business.
  • Create marketing collateral for your business, products and services including websites, sales brochures and ongoing social media management.
  • And much more!

The primary reason for business start-up failure is running out of money before you have a chance to figure all this stuff out. In fact, in many cases it would be cheaper to invest in a franchise than it would to work through the trial-and-error process of starting a business.

Established Brand

Starting out on your own is hard. While you may have had an illustrious corporate career, the reality is that the credibility you have built over the last 20+ years does not automatically transfer over to your business.

Starting out on your own is hard. While you may have had an illustrious corporate career, the reality is that the credibility you have built over the last 20+ years does not automatically transfer over to your business.

We see this time and again with senior corporate executives who transition into the world of small business consulting. While their skills and experiences are undeniably unique, rarely do they align well with the world of SME’s, who are primarily looking for a track record of success working with similar small businesses.

With a franchise you get to leverage the name and track history of a credible brand with a portfolio of case studies and testimonial to hand. It gives you instant credibility and discussion points. It allows you to channel your years of experiences into a well-defined model that is wrapped around a time-tested brand that you can bring to life in your own unique style.

Ongoing Training and Support

In addition to proven systems and an established brand, with a franchise you get the benefit of ongoing training and support. This allows you to consistently leverage many years of experience in your sector, implementing your specific business model.

Always remember, a good franchisor earns its revenues from royalty payments, so they are financially, as well as morally, incentivised to get you up ‘n’ running quickly and to ensure that you maintain that success.

Always remember, a good franchisor earns its revenues from royalty payments, so they are financially, as well as morally, incentivised to get you up ‘n’ running quickly and to ensure that you maintain that success.

Alongside the training and support of the franchisor, you have a network of fellow franchise owners who are all in the same boat as you are, who have been through the same learning process that you have and who you can learn and grow from (and in many cases develop lifelong friendships with).

Existing franchisees will be at various stages of their own business growth, allowing you to tap into and utilise the experience of those whose situation most closely relates to yours.

Time and Risk Appetite

Let us face it, if you are looking at business ownership as a 2nd career, then two of your most important considerations will be time and risk exposure.

It is highly unlikely that after 20+ years of hard work, that you will be looking to take huge financial risks or expose yourself to potentially disastrous consequences. Frankly, you just do not have the time to bounce back from such catastrophes.

It is highly unlikely that after 20+ years of hard work, that you will be looking to take huge financial risks or expose yourself to potentially disastrous consequences. Frankly, you just do not have the time to bounce back from such catastrophes.

It is more likely that you are looking at business ownership to take greater control over your destiny, improve your work/life balance, give yourself room to prioritise key people and activities in your life and take on fresh, new challenges. It is likely that you have always liked the idea of business ownership but never had a window of opportunity to fully pursue it, especially when supporting a family.

If this is the case, then franchising should absolutely be at the top of your list. It can serve as a perfect vehicle for achieving all those aims, without having to waste time or take on excessive amounts of risk.

The Primary Cause of Business Failure

The real reason start-up businesses fail is because they have not yet validated their business model. In other words, they have not established tried and tested sales and marketing channels, they have not identified their true target customers, they have not built inhouse operation manuals that show staff how to run the daily operations and they have not employed the right people to run those systems.

All business models are initially perfected with trial and error which can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Most simply cannot afford to see through to the end.

They essentially run out of cash before they are finished building the business and working these things out. All business models are initially perfected with trial and error which can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Most simply cannot afford to see through to the end.

Franchising as an Alternative Career

Franchising can be an attractive option if you are considering business ownership after an already successful career.

As well as having all the systems and processes of the business model in place, franchises have a phenomenally high success rate when compared to traditional business start-ups.

As well as having all the systems and processes of the business model in place, franchises have a phenomenally high success rate when compared to traditional business start-ups. This is because all of the business-critical components are in place, allowing you to get on with the ‘making money’ part rather than stuck in the place of trying to figure everything out.

When you start an independent business, you are investing in an idea that needs proving. Even if similar businesses exist, your business and brand still need proving and you will have to ‘figure out’ a lot of its components as you go. It can be an incredibly draining process that tests you beyond your limits.

When you invest in a franchise, you are investing in intellectual property. This intellectual property is an idea that has been proven and includes a business model – which contains all the moving parts required to make that business model a success – plus the licensing of the company brand under which to operate.

While franchising is not for everyone, especially the more entrepreneurial people of this world, it really can serve as a fantastic vehicle for senior professionals who are looking at business ownership as a 2nd career. If this does interest you, it pays to sit down and do an honest evaluation to see which path makes most sense for your specific circumstances.

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