Franchising – Your Next Step after Redundancy?

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In a post-Covid world, redundancy is sadly more likely for many people. However, as one door closes, another new one can open. Franchising can be a key to unlocking that door, allowing you to invest in a bright new future.

“Franchising might not be the first option that springs to mind if you’re facing redundancy or thinking of a career change, but it’s actually a really smart one to consider,” advises Michael Johnson, Managing Director of Card Connection. “Redundancy can be a spur that provides the opportunity to re-evaluate your life and career. Franchising could be the perfect way to start afresh, whilst also allowing you to become their own boss.”

The Franchise Industry contributes £15 Billion to the UK economy – an increase of 46% over the past 10 years.
The total number of people employed within franchising has now reached 621,000 – an increase of 70% over the past 10 years.

An Alternative path
Franchising offers you a proven business model and strong network support every step of the way. So, although you become your own boss, you are not left alone and isolated. Having the strong backing of an established and successful business means your previous work history is no barrier to success. In franchising, as long as you bring enthusiasm, passion, determination and a willingness to learn new skills, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed

“At Card Connection, we see franchisees come from all walks of life. A former coal merchant, dairy farmer, racehorse trainer and even a former Irish Olympic toboggan racer have all gone on to be successful Card Connection franchisees. Many come from the corporate world, having had ordinary office jobs, other have worked in retail.”

Training and support
Regardless of the sector, full training is provided with any franchise. Often franchisees learn ‘on the job’ with the benefit of earning an income from day one. The role of any franchisor is to ensure their franchisees are up to speed and can manage all aspects of running their own business. Training will typically cover sales, marketing, basic accounting, customer service and an in-depth briefing on the particular product or service the franchisor is offering. This means even people embarking on complete career changes can follow an easily replicable business model and instantly thrive in their new venture.

“At Card Connection, we train our franchisees to merchandise displays of greetings cards in stores to make them look attractive and appealing to customers. There is an element of creativity in achieving the very best ‘visual theatre’ to each display. However, our franchisees actually follow a tried and tested planogram, which reflects the fully researched buying behaviour of consumers. This is the key point – franchisees are encouraged to follow proven systems to help maximize their chances of success. In this way, franchising provides the option for someone to set up in business, whilst minimizing the risk of self-employment.”

Network spirit
‘Going it alone’ can be daunting for anyone considering setting up a new business from scratch. A franchisee, however, joins a team of like-minded people all working towards the same goal.

Although a Card Connection franchisee will be working on their own, they are supported by experienced franchise managers out in the field and head office staff, as well as having access to the network of franchisees with whom to share experiences and tips on best practices. This extended team will all be invested in the success of new franchisees joining the network.

“We have many instances of our experienced franchisees taking time out to help new colleagues replicate their successful storeroom set-ups to maximize the efficiency of picking and packing of the cards for the individual needs of each of their customers. All these best practices ultimately feed through to better sales. Just one typical example of the type of support joining an established network can provide.”

Do your research
If you’re facing redundancy or considering a career change, there are many options available. What is important is to find a franchise you will enjoy running. Research is crucial, as franchises are as varied as the franchisees that run them.
Once you’ve shortlisted one or two industry sectors, meet up with the franchisors. You’ll need to get on personally with the people that you could end up working with. When you’re further into the process of investing in a franchise, it’s also advisable to talk to some of its current franchisees to see what it’s really like to run the business. This will give you a valuable insight into how the franchise works on a day-to-day basis.

The finances and profitability of the business also need careful scrutiny, as do the accounts of similar-sized existing franchisees, to be reassured that your new venture will be sufficiently profitable to support you and your family. Getting ‘buy-in’ from friends and family can is also helpful, as they will be around to support and help you when you are starting out.

Card Connection has run a successful greeting cards franchise for 30 years and has been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1995 and the Irish Franchise Association since 1996. They are always on the lookout for the right people to join their franchise network. For more information on available franchise territories please visit www.cardconnection.co.uk