According to the 2015 bfa Natwest Franchise Survey 621,000 people were employed in the UK franchise industry, an increase from the 561,000 reported in 2013, and that is not including the 20,500 franchise owners. This figure is expected to rise again as we await the latest results.
With this growing increase in people running their own franchise, here are 10 insider tips you need to know about running a franchise.
Sara Le Roux ran her own successful Creation Station franchise for many years, before joining the Creative Hub team to support other franchise owners. Sara shares her top insider tips to consider before investing in a franchise.
1. Running a business is different to having a job.
Always remember that you are buying a business framework and experienced support – not a new employer or someone to do all the work for you! If you are the sort of person who needs to be told what they should be doing every step of the way, then owning your own business may not be the best way for you to really shine in life.
2. Do something you love but remember it's not a hobby
Whatever franchise you choose, always remember that this is your business – not just an expensive hobby. Once you have identified what sort of thing you would like to do, ie working with children, doing something creative etc, check out the status of the franchise: Are they the market leader? Are they proactive? What initial and on-going support will they provide you?
3. You will work harder running your own business than in a job
It’s really hard work running a business. You will need to spend time and energy on your business. Most successful businesses are normally not built on a few part-time hours per week, so ensure you have time to commit to your business. However, you are the one who reaps the benefit of your own hard work and it is extremely rewarding though. You have an amazing opportunity to really challenge yourself and develop new skills. Another huge benefit is that it gives you the flexibility to make alongside your family or other commitments you may have.
4. It takes time to grow your business
You aren’t going to earn big money overnight. Building a solid, successful business takes time – sometimes years. Make sure you factor some additional money into your initial start-up costs so that your bills are still going to be paid on time.
5. Make the most of your precious time.
There are a lot of things about running your own business that you won’t know how to do when you first start out. Always view this as a positive opportunity to learn new skills but never be afraid to ask for help. There are only so many hours in the day and your time is precious. If there is someone else that could get the job done quicker for you (and maybe better?) then take advantage of that. Buy their services, get that stress off your shoulders and move your business forward.
It’s all good and well spending days learning how to correctly submit your tax return, but wouldn’t that time be better utilised bringing in new business? How much is your time worth versus paying someone else to do the job for you – sometimes it’s a no-brainer situation.
6. Build your tribe and raving fans.
Surround yourself with an amazing support network. Things will be tough sometimes and you need people in your life who will build you up – not pull you down. The Creation Station franchisee network is amazing and has so many people to ask for advice and support – it all just helps you feel a little less isolated in the busy and fun world of being a business owner.
7. You can’t please everyone all of the time but when you get it right, it feels brilliant!
No matter what they say, your business will always be ‘personal’ to you. Yes, it will hurt if someone criticises your business ‘baby’ but it’s important that you take the time to listen to their concerns and value and respect their feedback. You can grow from this and make any changes to your business that you feel are necessary and then move on, stronger.
When you get awesome feedback, which you will, you know it's because of you! That's a really wonderful feeling, I know the smiles, thank you cards and testimonials I got running classes parties and events made me feel on top of the world! Our success stories are shared in our support newsletters too, so you definitely feel valued for what you do.
And of course with a franchise you are never by yourself - you have an amazing team to help you. At Creation Station, you have your Creative Hub head office team, you also have your local regional support manager, the people in your region, the friend you make at training and the whole franchise family. So there is always someone who can advise and also celebrate with!
8. Remember the 'Why'
Take time out every now and then to remember why you decided to do this. Family time? Flexibility? Personal growth? It’s all too easy to get sidetracked and let your business slowly take over your life. It’s worth taking a moment to check that the way you are operating your business still helps you to achieve this.
9. Be kind to yourself.
When you own a business, you are often you are wearing many ‘hats’ and multi-tasking a lot of the time. Every now and then just step back and catch your breath. The world will not stop turning if you don’t reply to an email immediately or take a few well-earned days off to recharge your batteries. You probably chose your business as a way to support your family financially. However, it's important to take breaks, enjoy it and take time to enjoy your home life.
10. Choose your business wisely
They say if you do something you love you will never have to 'work' again. So do think about what the day to day of your business will look like. Are the franchisors values aligned with yours? Do you like the people? Can you earn the income you need?
It's well worth doing your homework and going to the Discovery event if the franchise you are looking at has one, so you can make an informed decision that meets your needs. Once you choose your franchise, it's something that you will want to grow over a future time period, so make your decision knowing that the business you are investing in is one that is the right fit for you. When you find the right one, you can bring all the skill you have together and really fly.
Our franchisees come from a huge variety of backgrounds – you don't need to have one particular set of skills or experience to become a successful business owner, but you do need to be a people person, friendly and proactive. We find our successful franchise owners take on board the training, support and advice that is provided.
What is truly essential is that you love what you are doing, you are prepared to work hard to make it a success and that it gives you a sense of achievement.
If you would love to find out more about running your own market-leading creativity activity business, with comprehensive training and on-going support, download an info pack to find about The Creation Station franchise.
- In an independent satisfaction survey franchise owners rated The Creation Station 5-Star in 2018,2017 and 2016.
- Over 2,000 customers have rated the creative arts and crafts activities 5-Star on Trustpilot.
The Creation Station has also gained the following awards;
- Winner Most Supportive Franchise and Top Franchise Award – Working Mums 2018
- Winner Sylvia Anderson Award for Creativity 2017
- Winner Best Franchise Children's Services – Best Franchise Awards 2017
- Winner Best Website – Franchise Marketing Awards 2017
- Winner Excellence and Innovation - Children's Education Services 2017
- Finalist Richard Branson’s Impact Award 2016
- Winner Best Creative Play Award 2015
- Finalist Festival Supplier Awards 2015
- Winner Entrepreneur of the Year 2013
- Finalist Business Woman Of The Year 2012
- Winner Best Woman Franchisor UK 2011 - EWIF Awards
- Winner Best Franchisee Marketing Support 2012
- Winner ‘Crème de la Crème’ Business Award 2011
- Winner 'Best Interactive Business' Award - Mumpreneur 2011
- Finalist ‘Extraordinary Woman of the Year’ 2011
- Business Woman of the Year 2009 - Women of Achievement Awards Leicestershire