LOOKING FOR A PART-TIME FRANCHISE?
in this article:
Can you turn spare time into spare cash?
If you’re not yet ready to give up the security of paid employment, or you’re looking for a way of making some extra money, the idea of owning a business you can operate part-time might appeal. There are a number of different franchises that fall into this category. What you choose will depend on what time you’re prepared to put in, what money you have to invest and what your long-term ambitions are.
There are many reasons why people might look for a part-time business to start with. These include:
Second income As an employee, unless you are in a job that pays commission then your ability to grow your primary income is limited – effectively, you need to earn promotion or change to a better-paying job which may mean gaining more qualifications or re-training). But if you’re looking to improve your financial situation and you are prepared to invest in yourself, buying a franchise can provide a far higher income than taking a second job. With job security no longer a certainty for anyone, diversifying your income also leaves you less exposed should you lose your job.
Flexible timing While a full-time business might be too much for someone with family or other commitments, if you choose carefully then a part-time business can be worked around school hours.
Easing back into the workforce It’s not always easy to find a job that offers part-time hours and flexibility with real prospects, but the right franchise can not only give you that – it can set you on the path to full-time business ownership.
Easing out of the workforce A part-time franchise can be just the thing if you’re heading towards retirement but not ready to put your feet up, or you want to keep the brain active and the bank account healthy.
Testing out self-employment If you’re not immediately confident of your ability to run your own business, a part-time franchise enables you to dip your toe in the water. You’ll still get a business system to follow, training and support, but you’ll have the security of your regular employment, too.
Low investment costs Most part-time franchises require less money to start up than full-time ones, or will allow you to start small and increase your investment later. Having a regular source of income apart from the franchise may make it easier to find funding.
If you look for opportunities to earn part-time income on the Internet you’ll find all sorts of different possibilities, from proof-reading at home to nude modelling. Many of these exist as suggestions or ideas only, whereas a properly-developed franchise should have a brand, a customer base, systems and marketing tools to help you get established in a viable business.
The good news is that part-time franchises can be easy to fund, partly because they tend to involve smaller investment levels but also because the new franchisee has another source of income while they are building their business. ‘On the other hand, if you’re looking at a larger business that we know requires a lot of attention from the franchisees, it might be more difficult – we’d wonder who is going to be doing the work,’ suggests Daniel Cloete, Westpac’s National Franchise Manager. ‘Some franchises are better suited to being operated part-time than others.’
Many home services franchises can be run part-time, including home cleaning and lawnmowing. Some food and beverage franchises, such as coffee carts or food stalls, can operate part-time during the week with additional days at weekends – you can even employ staff to make the most of these opportunities. Vending and amusement machine franchises can often be run part-time or full-time, depending on how much you are prepared to invest in equipment. These are a good example of the type of business that can be grown as you become more comfortable with the routine.
There are internet-based franchises that operate in areas as diverse as property and the TAB, opportunities to market phone and internet services and, if you have the capital, rental businesses and financial franchises that specialise in direct loans. Perhaps the best-known part-time franchises, though, are the commercial cleaning businesses. Find out about some of the part-time franchises available.
Establishing a part-time business is not an easy task – in fact, you’ll probably put in more intense effort part-time than you would in a regular full-time job, because it’s your business and you are the one who has to make things happen. ‘In any business, you have to work hard to be successful,’ says Nick Stevens of Link Business Brokers. ‘That’s the same whether your business is full-time or part-time. With a commercial cleaning franchise, for example, you might need to put in four or five hours every evening, and that’s on top of your day-time job. Working extra hours like that cuts into the time you can spend with family and friends so
‘We get people come to us looking for a franchise that they can invest in and run under management, but to be honest those are few and far between. A number of franchises do have such good systems that they can be run by managers, but the investor will rarely get the best out of the business that way and most franchisors are not enthusiastic about the idea.’
Nick thinks it’s ‘a bit extreme’ to expect to be able to earn a full-time income from a part-time business, but if you can find a way of leveraging the time you invest then it’s certainly possible to earn well. For example, while some commercial cleaning franchisees start off by working alone or with their spouse, they can employ others as they take on more customers. That increases their earning power without increasing their hours, although it does add the complexities of employing staff. According to Paul Brown, of commercial cleaning franchise Paramount Services, ‘Some of our franchisees tell me they are earning double the income for half the number of hours compared to their day jobs.’ A vending business, on the other hand, leverages a franchisee’s time through the capital they invest in the machines – they might spend a few hours a day on servicing and restocking, but the machines themselves are working up to 24 hours a day.
Paul believes that part-time businesses can offer an excellent entry into franchising. ‘You can go into business without losing the security of a regular salary and keep expanding to a level that meets your needs. You don’t need to burn your bridges in your regular career, you can earn well and you get all the tax relief components of running a home-based business, too.
‘If you work hard and your business takes off, then there may come a time when you want to choose between your job and your business – you can only work all hours for so long, and we encourage our franchisees to recognise that,’ Paul says. ‘It depends on what you want. A part-time franchise can be a great way to find out just what you’re capable of achieving.’
This article first appeared in Franchise New Zealand magazine Volume 19 Issue 3
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