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Top 10 questions to ask before starting a franchise

If you think you might like to be one of our franchisees, and believe you have the necessary skill-set, here are ten questions you should ask yourself:

If you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur, but are nervous of risking all your capital on a speculative venture, a franchise makes the perfect half-way house. Your entrepreneurial skills will be tested to the limit. Your hard work will be rewarded. But because you are working under the umbrella of a larger organisation, you will not be as exposed to the same level of risk as other business start-ups.

Many of the Winkworth offices you see on the high street are franchises, run by franchisees under a standard franchise arrangement. If you think you might like to be one of our franchisees, and believe you have the necessary skill-set, here are ten questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Have you hit a glass ceiling at work? There is nothing more frustrating than finding yourself at the half-way point of your working life and realising that your promotion prospects are limited and your job satisfaction levels dwindling. A franchise can often be the perfect way to escape that trap.
  2. Are you in your late thirties or early forties? A large proportion of franchisees fall in this age range. They have gained considerable experience of the working world, but still have the energy and resourcefulness to embark on a totally new venture.
  3. Are you bored with being a salaried employee and itching to start your own business? When people get fed up with their boss, the first thought that comes into their head is: “I want to be my own boss”. Franchises enable people to become, effectively, self-employed.
  4. Are your finances on a sound-footing? Franchisees typically pay franchisors an initial fee, then royalties on a percentage of their turnover. You would not be as financially exposed as in another business start-up. But there are financial commitments which you will need to understand – and meet.
  5. Are you a natural salesman, with good people skills? Running a franchise is about far more than number-crunching. To make it work, you will need to be good at marketing what you have to offer.
  6. Are you prepared to work long hours? Don’t kid yourself that, because you are a franchisee, not a solo operator, you can escape the hard work that goes with the territory. Work hard and reap the rewards.
  7. Do you get a buzz out of property and the property market? The most successful real estate franchises are run by people with a real passion for everything to do with bricks and mortar.
  8. Do you enjoy innovating/thinking outside the box? There is no point in becoming a franchisee if you have still got the mental outlook of a salaried, box-ticking, safety-first employee. Many franchisees are go-getters.
  9. Have you ever had dealings with an estate agent and thought, ‘I could do better than that’? There are good and bad estate agents, as with all professions. You won’t be a successful franchisee unless you are determined to be one of the good ones.
  10. Are you adaptable enough to learn from your mistakes? As in all small businesses, nothing separates the sheep from the goats as much as adaptability. An agile business that moves with the times is a successful business.

What do you think? If you greeted all or most of the above questions with a ‘Yes’, then the life of a franchisee could just suit you down to the ground.

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.

Find more articles, tips and advice on taking the next step on the  Winkworth franchising blog: www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agent-franchise

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