The end of the furlough scheme (currently scheduled for September this year) is expected to lead to another rise in redundancies, which is causing concern to many. According to a recent YouGov survey, most furloughed workers (57%) worry about the prospect of redundancy. Those aged 25 to 44 are most anxious about losing their job, at 63%.
If you are facing redundancy either now, or as the furlough scheme comes to an end, after recovering from the initial shock, you are probably re-evaluating your life and career. Despite economic uncertainty this is proving to be a popular time to start a new business, with more people thinking about going into business for themselves after too much time on furlough or losing their job.
But how do you ensure that you can successfully transfer your skills and experience in previous employment to a new business venture? A franchise should provide a safer route into business, with initial and ongoing training, a structure to follow and support from the franchisor to help you.
There is a wide range of different franchises available and the key is to ensure that you find something that will use your skills but will also be enjoyable.
Take some time to think about what part of your current work life you enjoy. If there isn’t anything, it is definitely time to make a change!
Have you had a recent personality profile, does that give you any insights into your key skills and attributes? If not, why not get one done? There are a number of benefits to understanding how you work best, what your learning style is and how you communicate, for example. This might prompt you towards a particular future career or business.
Franchising has a lot to offer that you may not have previously considered and is certainly worth considering if you are looking for a new direction to take with redundancy looming over you.
There is initial and ongoing training, a tried and tested model to follow, as well as like-minded fellow franchisees to provide insight. It is an ideal way to start your own business if you want to have the independence and control of your working life but perhaps do not have the entrepreneurial drive to set up a business from scratch.
However, there are some myths to dispel that you might have come across.
Myth 1 – you do not have to work hard, it is a ‘business in a box’ that takes care of itself.
Starting a business will always involve hard work and although a franchise comes with a tried and tested format and training, that is not enough on its own. You will need to put the effort in to build your business up and look after your customers.
Myth 2 – every franchise works the same way with training and support, so I don’t need to check things out.
Always do your research, all franchises are not the same and there is a wide variety of support provided. Make sure you are happy that your chosen franchisor is providing value for money and will support and train you to the right standard.
Myth 3 – No-one can tell me what to do once I have my own franchise.
Partly true, you won’t have a line manager to report to any more! However, you will have obligations under your franchise contract and may still have targets to achieve. You are operating under the franchisor’s brand so must adhere to the brand standards.
Myth 4 – no more training courses once you know what to do.
A good franchise will continue to provide regular training on an ongoing basis as your business grows and develops. This is something you should ask about as part of your research.
Here are some tips to help you consider whether franchising is for you:
- Research thoroughly and make sure that the franchise is right for you. Look at the sector, check competition in your local area, explore the opportunity fully and ensure that you check out the franchisor.
- Take responsibility for your business plan and make sure that you understand the figures. Where will your sales come from, have you got all the costs itemised, how soon can you break even and move into profit?
- Put your full commitment into this new venture. Do not be half-hearted, if you want to give yourself the best chance of success you must work hard to ensure the business achieves its goals.
- Follow the system and take advice. Don’t try and ‘reinvent the wheel’ as soon as you start, there is probably a good reason for things to be done in the way you have been trained so follow the model and listen to the guidance from your franchisor.
- Find something you will enjoy! This is so important, especially if you have been unhappy in your job or pushed into redundancy during the pandemic. Franchising really does have something for everyone, covering a huge range of types and sizes of business.
Take the time to discover the right franchise for you, something that you can put all your energy into so you can really begin to love what you do, whilst building a business that will be an asset for your future.
This article was written by Cathryn Hayes (Franchise Director at Revive! UK) and originally appeared in Elite Franchise magazine.