Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, explains why franchising may be an ideal route for you to go down as a businessperson
When choosing a career, do you go for passion or wealth? It’s the classic Catch-22 of whether you would rather have a job that you love but with a terrible pay or have a job you that hate but pays very well. According to a YouGov poll that was conducted in the summer of 2017, 64% of people would choose the former. However it shouldn’t have to be one or the other – it is possible to love what you do and get paid well for it. Step one is knowing what you are good at and passionate about, step two is turning that into a way of getting paid what you’re worth.
If you’re genuinely thinking about a career switch, then you should consider franchising as a possibility. It’s an industry with hundreds of successful business models and a way to turn an ambition into a reality. You get to be your own boss but also experience being part of a larger network of franchisees which offer help, support and training.
It can be scary to think about leaving your job, old or young, well paid or not, it will always be risky decision as it is unpredictable. To make you feel a bit more confident, consider these facts: franchising in the UK has continuously seen around 90% of franchisees being profitable while the failure rate less than 5% over five years. Compare this to non-franchised small businesses where the failure is as high as 91% in its first year, franchising is looking pretty good. Most franchisees are also reporting to be returning a decent profit, with the average franchisee turnover continuing to rise, and over half of franchise business now claiming an annual turnover of more than £250,000, according to the latest bfa/Natwest report.
People go into franchising with all sorts of backgrounds and find a business that they love, even with no prior professional experience, from ex-military going into real estate to someone with years of PR experience going into educational programmes, franchising offers a platform to find and join a business you like. As long as you possess an ambitious energy to make that change to your life, you will succeed in achieving what you want. A lot of franchisors look for franchisees with drive and a desire to learn; it’s not always about doing what you already know and sticking with it. To own a business, you must be willing to adapt and develop professionally, and an ability to overcome challenges and solve problems. However, don’t forget about your transferable skills, know where your strengths lie and find a balance between this and doing what you enjoy.
There is a wealth of information about becoming a franchisee and what to expect. You won’t be leaving one job to just go and work for someone else. As a franchisee, you will be your own boss, working a business concept that has a proven system. Don’t be afraid to chase you dreams, or as Louise Krupski, a franchisee for Monkey Music put it: “Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you get on with it – just get on with it.”