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How to start a franchise in ten easy steps

Starting a franchise can be both exhilarating and daunting: a great big adventure, but break it down into a step-by-step process, approach the challenge calmly and logically, and the uncertainties loom less large.

Starting a franchise can be both exhilarating and daunting: a great big adventure, but break it down into a step-by-step process, approach the challenge calmly and logically, and the uncertainties loom less large.

Here is our ten-point plan for would-be franchisees.

  1. Timing. When do you want to start up your franchise? The timing may be dictated, to some extent, by your personal circumstances, or you may have the flexibility to choose your moment. But either way, you need to feel in control of the process. A well-timed franchise launch is the best possible avenue to success.
  2. Location. How well do you know your local area? And where is the best location within that area to start up a franchise which will make inroads into the local market? It is worth taking time to get this one right.
  3. Funding. Do you have the necessary start-up funds? It is vital to get this one right, for obvious reasons.
  4. Drawing up a business plan. Your franchisor, and any banks will expect you to draw up a realistic two-year business plan. Don’t see this as a chore, but as a necessary confidence-building measure. And don’t be too unrealistic. Under promise – over deliver.
  5. Marketing. One of the benefits of the franchise model is that the franchisor can take care of most of the marketing for the franchisee. But you also need to accept responsibility for your own marketing. Build it into your own plans – and make sure that it is a separate heading for possible contingencies.
  6. Digital support. How tech-savvy are you? If you are going to need a lot of digital support from the franchisor, make sure there are clear lines of communication. We provide both social media and website support.
  7. Legal advice. Even though the franchisor will be able to help with this, there are times when you may need extra advice. So find a local solicitor with relevant expertise.
  8. Handling the PR. This is sometimes seen as an optional extra, but can be a useful tool for a franchisee. An article in your local paper could help launch your business and add credibility from the outset.
  9. Staffing. Who are you going to be working with; one, two, three other people? Making a realistic assessment of the work-load as a start-up franchise is often key to its success.
  10. A shoulder to rely on. Don’t forget the all-important emotional support you are going to need. If you don’t have a partner who can share your concerns about the business, do you have a friend or family member whom you can ring at any time?

Depending on your existing skill-set, not all the challenges involved in starting up a franchise will be equal. But break them down into a series of mini-challenges and they will all seem more manageable.

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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