If you are considering becoming a self-employed HR consultant you are probably weighing up the pros and cons, and if you’ve come across face2faceHR (other options are available!) you may be considering whether a franchise is the right path or whether you would be better off ‘going it alone’.
It’s a very individual choice and there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both. Here are some of the reasons we think joining an established franchise can be hugely beneficial:
Having an attractive, professional and relevant brand plays a big part in business success, and with a franchise someone else has already spent time and money developing a brand that works, including research, design costs, advice from experts and lessons learned from being ‘in the field’ with clients. This can save you time, money and effort as well as having a very positive impact on your marketing activities.
Higher business success rate
Starting a business is always a risk, and depending on what statistics and reports you read, the accepted failure rate for start-ups in the UK is between half and two thirds failing during the first five years.
With a franchise the risk of failure is significantly reduced. The British Franchising Association and NatWest bank regularly conduct a survey of franchisees from a wide range of business sectors. Their research consistently shows over 90% of franchisees reporting profitability, and only 4% failing annually due to commercial reasons.
Faster return on investment
Many people starting a business are leaving regular paid employment, and replacing that steady income as quickly as possible can be very important. Self-employment can be brilliant and many people choose it not with a view to making a fortune, but for lifestyle/professional reasons. But much as you may be doing it for professional fulfilment or an improved work-life balance, it’s still a business not a hobby, and you need to make it commercially viable.
As a franchisee, you will bypass months spent as an independent consultant figuring out how to get clients; trying things which don’t work; spending money on marketing initiatives which aren’t right; developing a brand; working out how to package and charge for your services and many other things.
Time and money spent doing things which have already been done for you as a franchisee impacts significantly on the length of time it takes you to enter profitability.
It can be a lonely business working on your own but as part of a franchise you will have access to support from the franchisor and the team at Head Office as well as peer support from other franchisees who are going through the same things you are. This enables you to benefit from talking to others who have been through exactly what you are going through, and get that peer support which can be missing if you’re working independently.
If you look further down the road and might want to sell your business one day, an established franchise may well be much easier to sell than an independent business based solely around you. If your brand is only about you, based on your own name, then you might end up with a package of clients and a profitable business which someone else is reluctant to purchase, or will require a lot of rebranding.
But an established franchise which is backed up by a brand name and a system which isn’t entirely about you might be more attractive to potential buyers and enable you to walk away when the time comes with a good return on your investment.