FIND A SAFER PATH TO SELF-EMPLOYMENT
in this article:
Estelle Logan outlines some of the ways that buying a franchise can make going into business for yourself an attractive option
Working for somebody else isn’t exactly secure these days. When you own your own business, you’re more in control of when you work and what you do. It also means you can act quickly to meet your customers’ needs and secure your livelihood. But working for yourself does mean taking a risk.
The trick in business is to reduce that risk as far as possible. That’s where buying a franchise can pay off. If you do your pre-purchase research (otherwise called ‘due diligence’) carefully, then choosing the right franchise business can reduce your risk considerably.
You see, while you might know a lot about yourself – your willingness to work hard, your ability to overcome problems, your determination to succeed, your pleasure in doing a good job – you don’t necessarily understand everything you need to know about running a business. As national franchisor for V.I.P. Home Services in New Zealand for over 20 years, I’ve often heard people say, ‘Why would you buy a franchise to mow lawns or clean houses? It’s so easy!’ Well, the answer is that there’s an art to mowing lawns and cleaning houses professionally and knowing how to make money and build a business while doing it.
Think about your own property. How long does it take you to do your housework or mow the lawns? Most people we talk to will say, ‘It usually it takes me all Saturday morning.’ If you were doing it as a business and it took half a day per time, could you really make money only doing 10 properties a week? But a franchise will not only help you find customers – it will teach you how to clean 5-6 houses per day or 10-15 lawns or more per day to a professional standard. That’s the difference between doing a job and running a business.
Here are some examples to show how franchising can help you reduce the risks involved in going into business. These are mostly drawn from the home services sector, but the same applies to franchises in all sorts of industries. Remember, franchising is not just about branding and marketing – it’s about training and systems that allow you to make the most of the time you put in and help you achieve a profitable return on your investment.
What equipment do you need to start your new business? Where can you get the best deal? How will it be supported? What products should you use to get the best results in an efficient way? What are industry standards?
These are all important questions when you first start, but they’re questions to which your franchisor will know the answers. They will have researched the best possible methods, and researched new products and equipment as they come on the market. With the strength of the franchise, they’ll also have negotiated good deals. As a franchisee, you have immediate access to all these advantages from the very start of your business.
Mistakes are costly – both in time and in the growth of your business...
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