by Simon Lord
last updated 15/09/2021
Strength In Numbers
by Simon Lord
last updated 15/09/2021
Franchisees are feeling much more positive than independent small business owners. Why does buying a franchise give you such big advantages over going it alone?
The last 18 months or so haven’t been easy for anyone, and that’s especially true for small business owners. Lockdowns, online sales and contactless delivery have created challenges, and, while small businesses can move fast, they don’t always have the resources, the systems or the expertise on hand to cope.
‘As a result, my estimate is that 40 percent of small business owners are seriously stressed,’ says psychologist Greg Nathan. ‘But the figures are significantly better for franchisees, where over 80 percent report that they are functioning well, or are slightly stressed but functioning normally. Independent owners are struggling because they don’t have the business and social support that good franchise networks provide. Franchisees feel part of a wider group, part of a team, and that can be very reassuring – they know someone has got their back.’
So if you are considering buying your own business, buying a franchise makes more sense now than ever. Starting a new business – or even taking over an existing one – is hard. You need a viable business model, a reputation and the right equipment and connections. You need finance and you need customers. You need to be good not just at doing whatever you do, whether that’s holding classes or making coffee, but at running a business: marketing, managing cashflow, pricing and negotiating, to name a few key activities. Not many people have all those skills when they start, which is why many small businesses never get off the ground. If you’re used to having a team of specialists around you, being your own boss can also make you feel very isolated.
Buying a franchise, on the other hand, means that you will have strength in numbers. Although you still own your own business, you’re also part of a much bigger operation. You’ll get the training, systems, marketing, help and support you need to have the best possible chance of success. You’ll have more options when it comes to funding, because banks know the value of good franchise models. And when something goes wrong (as inevitably happens sometimes), you’ll have all sorts of help and support available.
Buying a franchise also means that you can take your existing experience and abilities and channel them into something new. It’s just a question of matching your skills, goals and attitude to the right opportunity.
Strength in training
Over the years, we’ve talked to hundreds of people who have changed careers through buying a franchise: bankers who have bought cafés, restaurateurs running laundromats, and retailers who took up lawnmowing. That’s reassuring, especially if you are currently facing redundancy. In some cases, franchisees have gone from knowing almost nothing about their new industry to winning awards for their performance.
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