Which Franchise Industry Would Suit Me?

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Making the decision to get into the franchise game is only the first step on your journey and, as you go along, you’ll find yourself faced with a number of questions.

The first – and most important – decision that you’ll have to make is choosing the right industry for your new business.  While this can seem a little daunting, there are a few factors to take into account to help you decide on the best type of franchise and, in this article, we’ll walk you through these factors to help you arrive at the right decision for you:

Getting down to basics

This first, and incredibly important, step is all about you.

At this stage, it’s essential to create a personal profile of your professional life to include:

  • Professional experience
  • Hard and soft skills
  • Qualifications
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

When you first take on your new franchise business, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a huge budget for employing staff and, so, you’ll find that you’re doing the bulk of the work.

For this reason, it’s vital to try to match up your skills and experience with the business to avoid getting out of your depth with your new business.

Now that you have your professional profile, it’s time to look at an equally important list – the things that you enjoy and are passionate about.

As I’ve mentioned, you’re going to be pretty much on your own for a while as a new franchise owner – which will mean a lot of graft and some really long hours.

All of this can get old pretty quickly if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing.  Have a think about the things that you enjoy doing in your spare time to see if these things can be converted into a business.

While you may not be able to make a perfect match between your professional experience and your passions, creating these profiles first will serve as a guideline as to the kind of businesses that you might want – and those that you don’t.

Play the market

The best kind of new business is always the one that plugs a gap in the market.  For this reason, your next step is to examine the businesses in your local area.

Start by taking a stroll around town and make notes on what is – and isn’t – there.  How many coffee shops are there?  How many dry cleaning shops?  How about car hire outlets?

Next, take a look at the UK Small Business Directory which will provide you with a list of businesses in your region.  Armed with this information, you can put together a picture of the business profile of your community and, therefore, identify any gaps which may present a franchise opportunity.

Franchisors are usually looking to expand into new territories and, so, showing that you’ve done your homework in terms of the market research will give you a head start when making your applications.

Looking Into The Future

Look to the future

OK, so now you have an idea of the kind of businesses that your town needs – and how your experience and interests stack up with these. That’s all great but, you’re not quite there yet.

Spotting a business opportunity is one thing, making that business work long-term is quite another.  During this crucial stage, you’ll be examining the industries on your shortlist very closely to ascertain their longevity.  The objective here is to try to identify – and dismiss – those industries which are part of a trend, or a fad, in favour of those which are likely to secure you an income for many years to come.

Examples of trend/fad businesses

Box subscription companies – while these are hugely popular right now, history shows us that they are likely to be replaced by something new fairly quickly.

Super niche food & drink outlets – although plant-based burgers and bubble tea might be just the thing in 2021, there’s a good chance that this will change the moment that somebody comes up with something else.

Travel services – Travel franchises tend to be quite unstable at best and disastrous at worst due to the huge amount of competition.

Examples of franchises with long term potential

Coffee shops – whatever may happen with the country and its economy, hard-working employees will still be looking for their daily caffeine fix, making cafe franchises a really solid franchise opportunity for today and tomorrow.

Home care franchises – our population is living longer than ever before and, as such, individuals will always need high-quality care services – meaning that you have a high chance of success with a care franchise business.

Cleaning franchises – busy lives mean that more and more UK residents are looking to lighten the load by hiring help around the house – and clean homes never go out of style! That’s why a cleaning franchise will provide you with the success and longevity you need to run a business.

Shopping around

By this stage, you should be looking at no more than two different franchise industries which means it’s time to start shopping around for opportunities.

All franchise opportunities are not created equal. For example, if you’re looking for a home cleaning franchise, you’ll find that these vary widely in terms of franchise fees and support.  It’s therefore extremely important that you take the time to find out exactly what’s available to you before making a decision.

When looking for available franchise opportunities, there are some great resources out there including Franchise Local. Our site offer lists of UK franchise opportunities, as well as some great tips and advice for first-time franchisees.

Finding the funding

When deciding on an industry, and then drilling down to a particular franchise business, there’s a good chance that your ultimate decision will hinge on one factor – the financials.

Pretty much every franchisor will require you to pay an upfront fee in order to secure your business (and, if they don’t, there’s a good chance that they’re less than legit).

It’s always a good idea to read the fine print carefully here as, while some franchisors will be happy to allow this fee to come 100% from a third party lender, others will require you to pony up a percentage of the fee yourself.

This is important as it means that your bank balance might influence your final choice of industry and business.

Putting yourself in the picture

In this final stage, you’ll be armed with a couple of options within one or two industries.

If one or both of those industries are ones which you have worked in before, then your work here is pretty much done.  If, however, it’s an industry that’s new to you, you’ll need to do a little more research before making a final decision.

Talk to franchisees within the industry to get their take on the good bits and bad bits of the job.  Find out what kind of hours the business will demand from you and, how this may impact other commitments; such as a young family.

This final step is all about picturing yourself running the business to see how well it’s likely to suit you.

Conclusion

Choosing the right industry for your new franchise business is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions that you’ll have to make; and one which could spell disaster if you get it wrong.

Always take the time to thoroughly examine your own strengths and limitations as well as the opportunities on offer to make sure that you’re choosing an industry that will have long term appeal both for yourself and for the local market.

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