Franchising is a great way of getting a new business off the ground without some of the inherent risks of starting from scratch. It’s no wonder that it’s popular amongst Service-leavers who are still of working age and have a bit of money to invest.
There are lots of other reasons why the franchising model suits Service-leavers aiming to run their own business. Firstly, the branding and support ‘behind the name’ means that it’s well known. What can often be a daunting and sometimes, a defeating task, is getting the name out there and trusted by potential customers. Bigger brands don’t have that problem, especially since they take care to make sure that they advertise and are seen in the right areas and in front of the right audience.
Most importantly though, franchises are fully formed in terms of the business plan. The formulaic instructions mean that a new franchisee simply has to follow the ‘plan’ or advice of the franchisor (who will have met all of the usual challenges before) for success, assuming, of course, that they put in the requisite hard work.
Nevertheless the effort is worth it and many Service-leavers before you have proven that the concept works. We’ve taken a look back at some of the conversations we’ve had with franchisees and drawn out their advice for Service- leavers considering investing in a franchise…
On why Service- leavers succeed in franchising…
Andrew Davis was a commissioned of cer in the Royal Artillery before joining care franchise, Right at Home.
“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.”
On the importance of keeping Military- style values in your franchising role…
Vicki Prout Served in the Royal Australian Navy for 12 years before leaving in 1997 and starting a career as a businesswoman. She currently runs an international childcare franchise, Sherpa Kids.
“I found success by following key principles the Navy had
taught me: treat everyone with respect, have set disciplines and be motivated in everything you do and ultimately be that team player – my business grew from strength-to-strength just by following those basic principles – that’s what the Forces is all about.
I came across this childcare brand and I basically liked it so much that I bought the business and here we are today in 17 countries in three and a half years.”
On selecting the right franchise…
Stephan Van Niekerk was medically discharged from the British Army in 2013 and joined Platinum Property Partners and now runs a portfolio of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
“Definitely look at franchising first, especially if you have no previous business experience or knowledge. Choose something that is tried and tested and where you get the opportunity to do some proper due diligence, which is vital.
Choose something that will give you good returns with a strong foundation in case times get hard again. Try to do as much self- development as possible.”
On the commitment involved in turning an interest into a living…
Franchisee, Rebecca Mitchell, Served in the Navy before leaving to set up her own business. We asked her about how she came to select swimming coaching franchise, Turtle Tots.
I was actually still in the
Navy when I had my little boy, Austin, in July 2013. I’m an avid swimmer; I used to swim for the Navy so I really wanted to get him into a pool as soon as I possibly could so I looked at different classes that were around in Glasgow.
My husband and I are both ex-Navy so we’ve come
from jobs where we are guaranteed a wage every month so it was a big financial commitment to make and it has not been an easy process. I’m not going to lie to you – and it still isn’t an easy process but so far I’m loving it and I would recommend it to anybody.