Investing in a franchise is a life-long decision that changes lives. That’s a fact. Every day people leave the humdrum of their unfulfilling jobs to take the leap to becoming enthusiastic, daring entrepreneurs.
BUT, it’s not for everyone. Many people will always want to stick with the security of regular salaried jobs, even if the thought of staying in the same role over the next ten or twenty years leaves them less than enthusiastic.
Steve Witt is co-founder of The Travel Franchise, one of the fastest growing travel agency franchises in the UK with a team of more than 600 agents working from home. Here he offers honest insight into how starting a franchise can change your life:
It will give you more confidence
Whatever your age – becoming a self-employed entrepreneur is a key turning point in anyone’s life. Knowing that you are solely responsible for your income, and then making a great success of it, is truly rewarding and can boost self-esteem like nothing else. By setting yourself up as a business owner, working out your unique selling points, how you can offer value to others and what you stand for is the ultimate in understanding your purpose in life.
Every milestone you hit in your business will give you confidence, every time you try something new, or attend a new networking group, speak at an event, or just make a new contact – you are banking that experience and confidence for future business success.
It will present a lot more opportunities that you never knew existed
Once you take the step outside your comfort zone, it’s amazing what you can discover about yourself! Becoming your own boss is hugely rewarding, even though it’s hard work, but ultimately it will make you realise that the sky really is the limit!
This could be a realisation that becoming a franchisee means that you can work your own hours around your kids and family, or that you can work part-time and still make a full-time income (or even more!) It could be that you want a job that means you can live abroad or work while you travel – whatever it is that is your goal, there is a franchise that will help you create the life you have always wanted for yourself (but were possibly too afraid to try before.)
You’ll learn skills you never knew were possible
When you become an entrepreneur, you think differently. You start to have both business insight and foresight that you never had before, helping you unlock your potential. With the right franchise opportunity that offers the support to succeed, franchisees like you know no boundaries, as you know you can turn any challenge into an opportunity.
These new key skills could be things like how to do your accounts, how to recruit, train and grow your number of employees, or it could be how to organise your invoices and banking, learn how to network and speak publicly. You’ll become your own marketing agency – seeing the potential and return on investment into social media, advertising, PR and content marketing.
There are so many skills that franchisees learn just by starting on their entrepreneurial journey.
You’ll meet new people
No matter what your franchise is, you’re bound to meet new people. Whether that’s customers coming through the door, contacts you make online through social media networking or through more traditional networking groups like BNI. There are so many amazing entrepreneurs out there, just like you who understand what it takes to make the leap into being your own boss – it’s important to find the group or ‘tribe’ that works for you.
Challenge yourself to visiting new networking groups or to reach out to someone you admire on social media – there’s no harm in asking for advice, you never know what opportunities might come from a message on LinkedIn. Again, it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to be a bit bolder and start up a conversation!
Networking doesn’t mean putting yourself out there to be salesy– it means listening too. By listening to others and offering value to a conversation or relationship through the natural swapping of strategies and tactics, the whole group will grow. This can be a mantra for your social media too – don’t just sell – offer value and your expertise to others and people will follow you.
Key speaker at The Travel Franchise annual conference, Michael Heppell, is coach to Davina McCall and DJs Sara Cox and Chris Evans. He explains 90 days of positive action can make you brilliant as a business person. Heppell recommends surrounding yourself with people who inspire you and can teach you new ways of thinking and developing your business.
You get choice and control over your life
A regular 9-5 job means security, comfort and peace of mind for many. But for those who have stepped out of that restrictive routine it means freedom and exploration; whether that mean travelling the world as a digital nomad, being your own boss or simply being able to choose your hours and picking the children up from school.
Whatever your goal in life, and wherever you want to be, there is a franchise option out there for you. It’s a life-changing experience that is challenging but hugely rewarding. You can be your own boss, grow your own empire, develop yourself as a person and create the life you want for yourself and your family. As the saying goes, great things happen when you step outside your comfort zone!
However, what we do know from our biggest earners is that it’s all about how hard you work. The more you put in, the more successful you are. That means that, especially at the beginning, the franchise comes first and you end up sacrificing a lot of “me” time. But the reward is a direct one – the more you put in the more you get out of it – and so it doesn’t seem that much of a sacrifice when the pounds roll in.