What franchise support should you get from a franchisor?

Tim Harris, managing director at ChipsAway and Ovenclean, part of Franchise Brands, explains what you should expect from a franchisor during your business journey.

Although going down the franchise route still requires hard work and dedication, the backing of a successful, established brand and support structure from your franchisor makes it far more likely you’ll succeed, compared to going it alone.

In fact, a recent report by NatWest and the bfa found that 93pc of franchisees claimed profitability in 2018, with fewer than 1pc per year closing due to commercial failure. *

When evaluating your options, you firstly need to know yourself; your skills, and any gaps that a franchisor will need to help with.

See also: Types of franchise and franchise structures

You also need to be clear as to what you want from a franchise, whether you’re looking for a lifestyle change, the freedom to spend more time with your family or to grow a significant business. The possibilities are endless, and your destiny is in your hands.

‘Make sure you conduct as much research as possible and that you understand what support your franchise package offers’

A reputable franchise will be able to provide you with all the information before you make the leap, and when you do invest, continue to give you exceptional help and tailored support throughout your business journey.

Perhaps one of the most important considerations when starting your franchise journey, is how much and what type of support your franchisor offers.

First-class business support

All franchises offer different levels of business support and there is no one size fits all approach. However, it is key to find a franchisor who can offer a support network that you can utilise to help you run your business effectively.

When choosing your franchise, you need to understand exactly what the franchisor offers, and how it can help you succeed in business.

As a business owner, you must wear many hats – from industry expert, through salesperson, to accountant, marketer and everything in between – and having guidance and experience to draw from can be invaluable.

Readiness to share key information

When you’re looking to start your own business, it is not always easy to know if your idea will take off. Taking the franchise route to self-employment means you do not have to spend months testing your idea and can benefit from a proven business model from the get-go.

Find out everything you can about brands you’re attracted to, ask to speak to existing and past franchisees, and carefully examine all its marketing materials. A franchisor should be happy to arrange this and will make sure you have got all the information you need to make an informed decision.

‘The beauty of the franchise model means your business and profits are your own, but you also have a support network around you’

Your franchisor should make sure you have access to all the tried and tested materials – from business stationery and marketing materials through to your own branded equipment, such as helping you arrange a professionally liveried van, or premises. When choosing your franchise, finding out what’s included and what costs extra, can help you make your decision.

Exceptional franchise training programmes

Many people find it surprising that you do not actually have to have any industry experience before you set up in business. Your franchisor should ensure you have all the tools you need to get you to a professional level quickly and effectively.

At Franchise Brands, each of our brands has an extensive training programme to equip you with the tools you need to run a successful operation, including technical training, sales and marketing coaching, legal guidance and much, much more.

A great example of this is our ChipsAway car repair franchise, which equips franchisees with all the tools to run a successful operation – whether they’re a car connoisseur or have no automotive knowledge at all. All new ChipsAway franchisees complete four weeks of initial training at the group’s purpose-built facility, which is accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

It is this kind of vital training and support that makes the brand so successful, and after operating for 25 years, it now has over 200 nationwide franchisees.

‘I had never held a spray gun before but felt confident after my four weeks of practical training to hit the ground running and established the necessary business turnover that I required very quickly.’

Alan Wilson, a ChipsAway franchisee

‘The training is amazing! It’s a month-long course to give you the skills, which is rigorously assessed and gives you an IMI qualification. The advanced course, which is completed a few months later, is also crucial and a great opportunity to reconnect with the basics too. The technical support is great – the team are always at the end of a phone, and their industry experience is invaluable’ 

Husband and wife team, Jim and Caroline Clennell

High-level technical support

Naturally, the type and length of training you will receive will depend on the type of franchise, but extensive technical support should always be guaranteed. Ovenclean is the UK’s original oven-cleaning franchise and offers a two-week training programme for their franchisees. This includes in-depth practical, sales and marketing courses, both in the bespoke training centre and out in the field with an established Ovenclean Business Mentor.

Ultimately, your franchisor should want you to succeed in your new business venture, and will provide you with all the training, resources and knowledge right from the very start.

‘My trainer was absolutely fantastic – we had a blast and still talk to each other regularly, even if it’s not about oven cleaning. I now act as an Ovenclean Mentor to new starters, and I am always hearing about how helpful and knowledgeable the team are at head office. Everything Ovenclean promise, they deliver. We couldn’t ask for more.’

Dean Wilson, franchisee and business mentor at Ovenclean, Portsmouth

Franchise checklist

A 360° approach to marketing

It’s all well and good knowing how to run your business, but letting people know of your existence is the key to a healthy bottom line. After all, if consumers don’t know your business exists, you won’t be in the running for their custom.

With that in mind, marketing is a number one business power tool that you need to be utilising if you want to supercharge your business. But we know that unless you’re marketing trained, it can be difficult to know where to start. What’s more, it can be difficult to find the time to plan and strategise without taking away from your core business.

See also: The advantages of opening a franchise business

When you’re in search of the perfect franchise, make sure you understand what type of marketing support will be available to you and your business.

  • Does your franchisor support your bottom line with online and offline marketing? How do they advertise?
  • How to do they help you with lead generation?
  • Are online marketing and offline marketing catered for?
  • What level of business or enquiry did the proposed territory generate in the previous 6 / 12 months?

These are all things to ask before you take the plunge.

At Franchise Brands, each of our offerings has a robust marketing and sales strategy that you can tap into. From national advertising campaigns and marketing initiatives, to expert guidance, PR support and more, we give our franchisors the tools that would be otherwise cost prohibitive.

For an idea of the kind of things you should be considering, it’s worth seeing what we include in our premium dog-sitting franchise Barking Mad.

‘The support I receive from head office is absolutely vital. I am so grateful for their guidance. Having never run a business before, franchising with Barking Mad has given me the confidence and knowledge to continue my growth, with tremendous support in areas such as IT and organisational skills.’

Barking Mad franchisee, Melissa Sincock

A supportive, all-inclusive programme

The beauty of the franchise model means your business and profits are your own, but you also have a support network around you when you might need it most. A good franchisor will have a strong central support programme with experts in a wide variety of business functions – from accounts and IT to marketing and legal support.

When you’re looking to buy a franchise, make sure you conduct as much research as possible and that you fully understand what types of support your franchise package offers, and of course, how you can best utilise that support for your individual business needs.

A team waiting to meet you

Before you invest, it’s always worth meeting the teams providing the core business support so that you can get a good feel for the brand and how it operates. With Franchise Brands, we offer open days across all our offerings, which gives you the chance to talk openly and freely with the teams and see the systems first hand before you make the leap.

Tricia Craig has been a Metro Rod franchisee in Macclesfield for nearly two decades, and says the support she receives is still as good as it was the day she first opened her business’ doors:

Craig says: “The support you get at Metro Rod is second to none – I can ask for guidance and advice if I need it, and there will always be someone willing to help. I sell the reputation of Metro Rod to new clients along with the guarantee that we have a network of franchises that can help if required.”

An existing franchisee support network

Existing franchisees can offer an invaluable support network and share their successes and challenges that will help supercharge your business and give you tried and tested tips and tricks. When choosing which franchise to buy, scope out the size of the network and even ask to speak to existing franchisees about their experience.

At Franchise Brands, each new franchisee who joins the Franchise Brands group, such as Metro Rod, ChipsAway, Barking Mad or Ovenclean, has a mentor. This mentor is an experienced, existing franchisee who provides one-to-one support during the first few months. In addition, with large networks such as ChipsAway, there are over 200 nationwide franchisees who can offer a helping hand, or even become friends. ’

According to ChipsAway franchisee, Tan Likiliki, “having a strong supporting network who have extensive experience and expertise in that area is paramount”. The ChipsAway network provides “all the help you need so that you can feel confident, instead of feeling the vulnerability and fear which comes with starting a business alone”, says Likiliki.

Making your decision

Overall, choosing the right franchise for you and your lifestyle is an individual process and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But whatever your situation, undertaking the right research, asking the right questions, and understanding how a franchise works are the key factors that will aid your decision.

To start building your franchise business empire with Franchise Brands and to find out about the brands on offer, please find out more here.

Franchise Brands was founded in September 2008 by Stephen Hemsley (executive chairman) and Nigel Wray (non-executive director) and is an international multi-brand franchisor with a combined network of over 450 franchisees in 12 countries across four brands: ChipsAway, Metro Rod, Ovenclean and Barking Mad

Further reading

Writing a franchise business plan: 11 things you need to include