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Franchising: time spent on research is never time wasted

Here are some industry insights, ideas and inspiration from our years in franchising to help you decide whether it is right for you.

You would not go on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday without months of research – poring over atlases, planning itineraries, costing hotels or looking at weather maps. By the same token, you would not embark on the great life-changing adventure of setting up a franchise without doing some preliminary spade-work.

Here are some industry insights, ideas and inspiration from our years in franchising to help you decide whether it is right for you.

The internet is a good starting point, as always. Browse sites such as Startups and you will quickly get a feel for the basics of the franchise model. Check out well-known companies, such as Specsavers and Europcar, which have grown through franchising, and try to work out why they have been so successful. You could also visit, www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agent-franchise for advice on the world of franchising. Alternatively, if you really want to immerse yourself in this brave new world, you will need to do more than browse online.

Track down some franchisees in your area – not necessarily in your own line of business – and offer to take them out for lunch/a drink to pick their brains. You could also talk to the Winkworth head office team for advice. Many people will be flattered to be asked and, in no time, you will find them giving you helpful practical tips on starting up a franchise, pointing out things that had not previously struck you about starting a franchise.

You might even ask them if you can do a few days’ unpaid work experience. Hands-on experience always trumps abstract learning. You will be able to get a feel for the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee, and how it works in practice. A franchise business is subtly different from an independent company, and the more you can learn about those differences, the better equipped you will be to prosper.

In the nature of franchising, you will also need to research your single most important asset – yourself.

In the nature of franchising, you will also need to research your single most important asset – yourself. Road-test your finances with the help of a financial advisor. Do a personal skills audit, a rough-and-ready inventory of the skills you already have, the ones you will need to improve and the ones you will need to acquire to succeed as a franchisee. Last but not least, assess the preparedness of your family to support you in what will inevitably be a speculative venture. If they are solidly behind you, so much the better. Franchising may be a leap of faith. But if you do your research, it need not be a leap in the dark.

Have you been thinking of starting a franchise? Winkworth is looking for new franchisees to continue their successful growth

Contact Gina Piper (Business Affairs Manager) via email at gpiper@winkworth.com to find out more about starting your own Winkworth franchise. All conversations will be strictly private and confidential.

Learn more about franchising with articles, tips and advice on taking the next step in franchising: www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agent-franchise

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