Seasonal Franchising: Take The Weather With You

Starting your own business can be a daunting task but franchising allows you to take your management and leadership skills and put them to work in an environment where not only is there the support of a corporate structure, but also a degree of autonomy that allows you to run your franchised business in your own way.

Seasonal franchises allow more of that freedom: a business which sees a ‘peak period’ during a set time of the year, usually linked to the prevailing weather conditions. Many franchisees find that the greater flexibility and the possibility of tapping into inflated seasonal markets offered by these franchises can lead to lucrative results.

Civvy Street guides you through the four seasons of the year with advice and examples of seasonal franchises for Service-leavers who are looking to take a different approach to civilian life.

Spring: Garden & Landscaping Services

Spring is a season of rebirth. The grass begins to grow after a long winter, the trees and flowers are in bloom and everyone is imbued with a sense of hope and renewal. Not only that, spring comes with a potentially lucrative bonus for anyone looking to get into gardening and landscaping services.

If you like the idea of working outdoors then you might find that a gardening franchise, which services those customers who want a tidy garden without losing their entire weekend to it, is for you. Aside from the initial investment in equipment and storage overheads are fairly small and a link with a reputable franchise like Jim’s Mowing or Trugreen can help you get established quickly.

Jim’s Mowing is the world’s largest home-based gardening franchise. With over 3,000 franchise owners across the world. Their franchises start at £15,000 plus VAT and also offer comprehensive branding and training included in the package.


Summer: Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice cream? When summer rolls around and the sun comes out, ice cream sales in the UK go through the roof. Whether you’re in the heart of the city or by the seaside, selling frozen yogurt or Italian gelato, the British public consumes more than £1 billion-worth of the frozen treat every year, which could be very good news for your bank balance.

All of this makes the humble ice cream parlour a very attractive proposition indeed. If you find the right location and are willing to put in the long hours it takes to get the business off the ground, you will benefit from a huge seasonal market. There is money to be made all year round with hot treats such as waffles and of course childrens’ birthday parties but the majority of profits in the ice cream sector are to be found when ‘the Sun has got his hat on’.

Gallone’s Ice Cream Parlour franchises are built on 130 years of experience in the ice cream industry, and you’re able to get involved with a fully outfitted parlour and full training for an investment of around £110,000.


Autumn: Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year and the potential for profit by gearing your business around the season of goodwill is huge. By late October most people’s festive plans are already in full swing and as a franchisee seasonal decorator, yours will be too.

Many councils and private businesses hire third parties to help them decorate for the festive period and even private homeowners with busy lifestyles hire in outside help to get them into the spirit. The Christmas Decorators are among the very few franchisors in the UK offering this kind of opportunity and the potential to earn an annual income in just a few months is a very attractive proposition, especially when you consider the low start-up and running costs.

With an investment as low as £14,999 The Christmas Decorators offer support and provide stock at below wholesale prices, meaning that while your Christmas may become incredibly busy, it has the potential to be extremely profitable as well. They are also happy for their franchise to be run as an additional business for those looking for flexibility.


Winter: Weather Control

Winter brings a great many challenges, not least those associated with adverse weather conditions which cause travel chaos for millions of people across the country. Taking on a franchise in this sector won’t just have the potential for a rewarding career, it could even save lives.

Complete Ice Control offer ‘weather control’ services through local franchisees right across the country including gritting, snow clearance, ice management, and even the provision and replenishment of salt bins. They combine their offering with year-round weed management, meaning it is full of potential for an initial investment of around £27,000.



Some Things To Consider…

During the quiet season you can focus on building your client base year-on-year and developing your marketing materials, meaning that you have plenty of time to grow the business.

You can hire seasonal staff rather than employing a large workforce all year round, keeping your overheads low for the rest of the year. However, bear in mind the cost of recruitment and training for new staff as these workers may not return.

You might find that certain fees are higher than those of an annual franchise although the initial costs are likely to be lower.

Consider the storage of equipment which will only be used during a few months of the year and incorporate it into your initial business plan.

Budgeting and forward planning are vital to success. Ensure you have enough materials or products when the main business season comes round so that you can provide the very best service for all of your customers.

A successful seasonal franchise is created in the quiet season, with preparation and proper financing.

Ensure you receive plenty of support from your franchisor and discuss with them what their expectations are of you during quiet periods.

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