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I was a franchisee, I brought into a franchise, the buy in cost was a lot and the monthly fees, I felt, were considerable. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have felt that way had I actually got something for my money.
So, what did I get for £12,000 investment?
An operations manual is pretty much the answer. Seriously!
I was incredibly naïve, the franchisor was a friend of mine and I thought she would see me right.
Once said franchisor had my money, I was left to figure out the rest of it by myself. There was no check in to see if I was struggling or had questions, or even a regular review to ensure I was doing things in the best way to make the business thrive. What did arrive on time was the £300 monthly franchise fee invoice. This was payable regardless of what money I made that month. And what did I get in return for that £300 a month. The answer is nothing. Literally nothing!
Ok so now you must think I’m stupid, which is pretty much how I felt – actually still feel when I look back at it.
Here’s the thing…
I learned from that experience. I still believe that being a good person and doing the right thing comes before making money, but I also know that you can have both.
Business opportunity post Covid
If you are thinking “here we are, there is hope on the horizon and it is time to look at doing something different with my life”. Good for you.
What advice I would give to anyone is do what you love. I love animals, that’s why I work with them, if you love animals, you’re in the right place. If you don’t, then just take the advice I give from this.
Ok lets assume you know what you love, you plan to start a business. Starting a business from scratch is hard, it takes time and money, lots of costly mistakes along the way, which we all tell ourselves we won’t, but we will. No one knows how to get it right first time, otherwise everyone would have a successful business right?!
So consider joining a franchise, just make sure you do your homework.
Here’s my key questions to ask any franchisor:
Have they run the business themselves? Did they start the business and work in the business from every aspect?
This was my mistake. The franchisors of my company had never run it for themselves it was just a concept. I have been running Pets 2 Places for 6 and a half years, been there done that. That’s what you are looking for in a franchisor.
So next thing you want to know is how many franchisees do they have? Currently in March 2021 we have none, we are at the beginning of our journey, but plan to take on only 3 this year. Make sure the franchisor is setting realistic goals. If they plan to take on as many as they can how are they dedicating enough time to each person?
Also what training is there? Initially, ongoing? Is there additional support if needed? What do you get for your buy in cost? Currently, we have a whole host of equipment, marketing material, social media, and publicity as part of our buy in cost. Plus the initial residential training also includes writing a plan, a day by day of what your first weeks and months will look like.
This was another hard lesson, what happened on day 1 when I brought a franchise? I had no idea where to start, what to do, what I should or shouldn’t do. Should I pay for some advertising? Networking? Where should I invest my money? We cover all of those things in training.
Ok so let’s assume I made it through month one, found 1 or 2 customers, but I had a difficult customer, how did my franchisor react? Couldn’t care less! Told me it was my business and to get on with it!
At Pets 2 Places we believe support is everything and this is why!
After a year I quit. I lost a ton of money and honestly it hurt.
This is why Pets 2 Places is such an ethical company, I’ve had it done to me and I would never do that to someone else.
Join a company who cares about its people, Pets 2 Places don’t have any franchisees to ask, but take a look at our social media and see the love there is.
Our franchisees will be our customers, happy customers equal a successful business.
My last piece of advice is if the franchisor isn’t passionate about what they do, walk away. How can you join a company where even the guy (or girl) at the top doesn’t care. And lastly ask where they see the company going in 5 years? 10 years? Remember you may be buying your own area but you are part of something bigger, the brand name means everything. The bigger the brand name, the bigger you become by default.
Remember a responsible franchisor will be looking for people who fit within their company ethos. We won’t be selling franchises to just anyone, animal lovers only. We would also welcome people from a care background such as NHS, learning difficulties, care in the community.
Our aim is to build a supportive franchise family. This is what you should be looking at if you plan to join a franchise.
If you’re interested in learning more about our franchise opportunities click here.