2019 was a year of uncertainty, with political upheaval and a challenging economic outlook, all broadcast via 24-hour media. It probably isn’t surprising therefore, that many people postponed their dreams of owning their own franchise.
But when is it likely to be the best time to launch a new venture? And are these concerns about the overall business climate valid ones? In many ways, only you can answer these questions but here are some thoughts to consider.
If you have spent quite a long time nurturing your dream of being a business owner (particularly if you have been looking at franchising as a great route to do this), you might need to think carefully about what is holding you back.
Are you lacking confidence in your own skills and experience? Have a clear idea of what your key skills are and think carefully about what you would really like to be doing on a day to day basis while you secure your financial independence. If you are currently commuting to work in an office but really want to work with children, for instance, how are you going to make that a reality?
Franchising can be a much better route into self-employment, especially if you have never run your own business. There are franchises covering a wide range of businesses so whatever you would like to do, there could be a franchise to help you. Your own lack of experience or training does not need to be a barrier as good franchisors will train and support you.
However, you do need to be able to give your full commitment and energy if you are to be a success. Can you do that?
Another thing holding you back could be all the uncertainty around the economic environment and what could happen in the coming years. Economic cycles will vary and there are always going to challenges. However, you have no control over this aspect so instead of letting economic issues stop you in your tracks, look at the other factors which can affect the success of your new venture.
Are you looking at a seasonal business or a new service without a strong existing customer base? How much experience does the franchisor have, is it a well-established company with existing franchisees you can talk to?
Before you sign a comprehensive legal contract and pay the upfront fee, you will need to be sure about what you are committing to. This is where your research and planning will be an important factor. There is plenty of advice available to help you and the British Franchise Association free online training is a great place to start.
In summary, there are a number of steps you can take to build your confidence and ensure that you have enough information before you buy a franchise. The risk of giving up paid employment and going it alone can be a major stumbling block but if not now, when? Will you make your dreams a reality in 2020? Only you can decide that and take the steps to move forward.
This article was written by Cathryn Hayes, Franchise Director at Revive! UK and originally appeared in her column in What Franchise magazine.