Are you considering starting your own business? Are you looking into franchising? Maybe thinking about going it alone? Read this article first!
Starting a business is a bold move: it is a big change from the certainty of paid employment; there is always an element of risk; and it takes a lot of time, hard work and personal sacrifice, whichever way you go about it. That said, if done correctly, starting a business can be a step (even a giant leap) towards achieving your personal, financial and professional goals. Setting the foundations by research and planning will provide you with solid ground on which to build your empire.
So you have made the decision to start a business, but where do you begin? There are two main options: one, you start from scratch; or two, you start your own business trading as part of someone else’s brand. Starting from scratch can come in the form of self-employment, starting a company, even going into a partnership, but whichever way you start, you are creating a business or brand from the ground up. Trading as part of someone else’s brand can also come in different forms – you can buy a licence to trade using a brand name, for example – but the most popular way of doing this is franchising.
Starting a business from scratch may appeal for many reasons, but many people who choose to go it alone over franchising say it is because they want to ‘start their dream job’, or do things ‘their way’, or they were perhaps put off by the franchise fee.
These are valid points of course, but they should be investigated further. A franchise fee, for example, often gives you far more than you could buy if you were starting out alone. A branding, marketing and website package could set you back well over £15,000, while tools, kit, training, admin, accountancy and ongoing costs add up to much more than most franchise fees – and this is to start a brand new business with no trading history, brand recognition or reputation.
If you have a skill or talent that is saleable – you may be a great baker, a talented designer or skilled at DIY – your first thought may well be, “I could do this alone”. While this could be a great choice for you, your next question should be, “Do I have all the necessary skills and resources to turn my skill into a business?”
Many people who have been in employment all their life have very defined skills, but perhaps know very little when it comes to the broader skills of running a business; the accountancy, the marketing, handling trade supplies, for example. These things can be daunting and it may be that a franchise package that gives you support in these areas is a good proposition.
The next question to ask is, “How will I fund my business?”
The funds needed for a business are twofold: there are start-up costs to be considered, as well as ongoing cash flow. A large number of businesses fail as they do not anticipate the trading capital needed to keep the company afloat after start-up. Even profitable businesses can hit cash flow problems if they do not plan ahead. This is because it can take time from completing a job to getting paid for it, and this is often underestimated by the enthusiastic entrepreneur.
With the franchise business model these costs have all been taken into account and proven through trading history and built in to the model.
Obtaining funds. Of course, once you know how much financial investment you need, you will have to raise the funds to start your business, whichever way you choose to go. In this climate banks can be disinclined to lend on ‘un-proven’ businesses with no trading history, however good your business plan may look on paper. Banks are more likely to lend on a franchise, as they can see the accounting history and trading model as proven over time.
Franchising is for you if you want to have all the benefits of starting your own business: the freedom, the flexibility, the lifestyle of being your own boss! Alongside this, you have the security of knowing you are part of a supported network of experienced individuals, given the training and systems you need to be trading from day one.
It isn’t for you if you are looking for an ‘easy way’ to work for yourself; a franchise is your own business and while you are given the formula and platform for success, it will be your own hard work and dedication that sees those goals through to fruition.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Just Shutters franchise opportunities in your area, please call us on 01202 233744.