Starting a business can be a difficult process but franchising offers a way to hit the ground running that can suit Service-leavers down to their boots.
Whilst it’s true that a Service-leaver who applies themselves can achieve almost anything, it still remains that there is usually a hard way and an easy way to go about things. Franchising then is renowned amongst business pundits as a smart way to start up a new business interest. The fact that the (franchised) brand already exists means that franchisees are given a head start, particularly with tricky concepts like marketing, which can seem overwhelming, especially in the early days.
In fact, Service-leavers might already have distinct advantages as potential franchisees.
Here’s why we think Service-leavers make great franchisees:
With any business you’ll expect to shell out start-up costs for fitting out a premises or buying a vehicle and so on. Service-leavers might well have a lump sum or pension to invest and yet are still likely to be of working age.
Banks look favourably on franchises (given their success) and Service-leavers (given their reputation) and are a great resource to approach for top-up loans when you’re starting out.
Franchises use a formula built up and refined over time that has been proven to get results. All the Service-leaver has to do is follow the procedure – just like any other mission.
Although the business is going to be virtually identical to others under the same brand, Service-leavers bring useful qualities such as leadership, initiative and organisation. As head of your own small operation, these will be invaluable.
There are hundreds of franchise opportunities to choose from covering lots of different trades and services. Your Military experience might have already equipped you with the essentials. (Be sure, however, to select a reputable franchise operation. See the British Franchise Association website for more tips and advice: www.thebfa.org)
An essential in any work environment – and a ‘can do’ attitude helps too.
Right at Home – Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis was a commissioned officer in the Royal Artillery before joining care franchise, Right at Home in Bournemouth.
I had a vague notion that I wanted to work for myself but I was realistic enough to know that I did not have any experience of business so I did not want to go it alone without support. What impressed me about Right at Home was their in-depth understanding of the operation.
Why do so many Service-leavers go into franchising?
I think there are certain qualities like resilience which the Military gives you but I also think there are some misconceptions out there such as that Military people can be a bit robotic and obey instructions without question. If we are told to do something stupid we are taught to question it and prepare a better plan.
How did you raise the finance to fund your franchise?
I used my gratuity from the Army and also took out a bank loan.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
A lot of my time is spent building relationships in the local community with charities, church and community groups to get the message out there that Right at Home delivers high quality care consistently. I also go out and deliver care to customers myself. This is quite unusual but I believe it is important to understand what challenges the carers face first hand.
What makes a successful franchisee?
I think it helps to look at a franchise as a medium to long term project; think in 5-10 year periods rather than 5-10 weeks.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to grow the existing franchise in Bournemouth and we have just recently bought the neighbouring territory in Poole as many of our current clients already reside there and many of our staff also live there.
Would you do it again?
Our thanks to Platinum Wave, a fully independent franchise consultancy firm accredited by the British Franchise Association provided Andrew’s story.