When deciding on what franchise to invest in, a big factor can be the cost to invest. Some franchises cost under £20,000, while others can be upwards of £75,000 or even more. For most people, that’s a difference significant enough to seriously limit their options or at least make them think twice before jumping in to an otherwise amazing sounding business. There are some key differences to keep in mind when deciding, so here is a quick run down of what to expect.
Low Cost Franchises
At the lower end, it’s important to understand that while the entry cost will probably cover what you need to get started, like supplies, initial training, etc, it will not include working capital, which you will need until your business gains enough momentum to start turning some of its own positive cash flow. Before you buy in, make sure you know exactly what is and is not included in the cost. If you bought into a less expensive franchise because of your own financial constraints, unforeseen costs early on could be a make it or break it moment for your business before you’ve even had the chance to take off.
You will also need to make sure your personal expenses are covered for a few months, at least. If you’ve run the numbers, and you’re going to run out of your own funds after a month, it’s time to look into different options or wait until you’ve saved up a larger nest egg. Learning to budget in general is going to be key, but remember, it’s one thing to hold off on buying a new luxury car, it’s another to try to hold off on paying rent.
Depending on what the franchise provides, you may also want to have some extra cash set aside for things like sales and marketing. However, many franchises will include this as well. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting.
The good news is that when you’re buying into a franchise, you’re buying into a business that has been thoroughly tested. Your franchisor should be able to tell you exactly what to expect, your fellow franchisees will be a community you can draw tips and lessons from, and ongoing training is a great wait to develop your business as it grows and flourishes.
Lower cost franchises often fall into the sales or marketing industry because the marketplace is big, the startup costs are low, and the potential for growth is always there. This means you’ll probably want to be comfortable selling, talking on the phone, and working fairly independently. You may not even need to employ staff for awhile.
High Cost Franchises
Higher cost franchises get their cost because they usually require things like premises to operate, special equipment, branded decor, and more (a great example is a fitness club.) There’s a lot more training required for things like operational systems and the hiring, training, and development of your staff. The setup process also takes much longer.
Higher cost franchises usually need the help of bank loans and overdrafts, so that cost will need to be incorporated into your business plan. The good news is that with approved franchises, banks will often lend up to 70% of the total cost of setting up. Even better, these loans will usually come with repayment and interest rates that reflect the approval ratings of the franchisor, which means you get a great deal directly because of the prior success of the franchise you’ve just bought into.
One thing to keep in mind is that with more staff comes more managerial responsibilities. If you’re not the type of personality that enjoys managing or being responsible for the well-being and success of others, you might end up disliking a big part of your job.
With so many great franchise opportunities available, the biggest factor in predicting your success has more to do with finding the franchise that’s right for you. Be as candid with yourself as possible about your limitations, concerns, fears, and deal breakers. Weight your options carefully, and make a pro’s and con’s list (because there will be pro’s and con’s to every situation.) Take the time to find the right franchise for you.