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Lead the way in a white collar

Do you dream of running your own business? Have you got the know-how, experience and desirable skills needed to manage a business but no idea where or how to get started? Here Jenna Leeds explains the potential in white-collar franchises

Management franchises or as they’re widely known – White collar franchises – were first given their name for those that work in a professional corporate environment and indeed wear a white collared shirt with tie and jacket. It was these people that were seen as the managers, the leaders of the pack and quite typically those in positions of power. Those in management might not always wear a white collar nowadays, or even a tie, but they are managers and in franchising they are also the franchise owners. The concept of a management franchise is where the franchise owner manages other people to deliver that product or service.

With many people losing their jobs every day and the economic climate showing no sign of improvement, it has been the managers and middle managers of many organisations that have suffered most, finding it difficult to get jobs and progress in the traditional career paths. However, with franchising on the rise and highly experienced professionals more keen to run and develop their own business, management franchises have become increasingly popular.It has been proven that those with management experience or people that have worked in business management roles in sales, marketing or finance are adept at spotting growth potential and brands that are on the rise. So it is no surprise that these leading professionals recognise franchising as a way for the future.

According to the Natwest/bfa Franchise Survey 2012, the most popular reasons for choosing a particular franchise are growth potential (22 per cent), affordability (22 per cent) and also current success of existing franchise owners (17 per cent).

Those of you that are managers currently and perhaps feeling the pinch of the financial climate, why not put the skills and experience you have into something far more valuable? There are many franchise opportunities out there including coaching, executive recruitment, consultancy, project management, accountancy, financial advice and design.

One of the main reasons many management professionals don’t start their own business is the fear of failure. It’s hardly surprising with stories hitting the headlines everyday announcing further businesses going into liquidation, but franchising has proved to be the safer option compared to going-it-alone. The Natwest / bfa Franchise Survey 2012 stated that four out of five franchise owners (81 per cent) believe they have a competitive advantage over other small businesses as a result of running a franchised business.

One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a franchise over a general start up is that it will cost more initially. One thing to remember, however, is you you’re paying for an already well-developed business; you will also receive the trademarks, operating systems, initial training, materials, skills and ongoing support and advice. One of the major benefits with a franchise is you will also feel the impact from other franchise owners and franchisors and their efforts in developing the brand’s success, an investment that is not available when launching your own business.

With owning a franchise or indeed running your own business you can create a lifestyle that suits you – a work/life balance that you can control and what’s more you’re receiving the reward and praise for it. With a management franchise it is even easier as you are managing exactly what happens and when, while working in line with the franchises procedures and budget. Here’s why a management franchise could be for you.

Low start-up cost

White-collar franchises are based around giving your time and expertise in exchange for a fee and therefore when starting up there is no need to invest in premises and stock straight away. This is very appealing to prospective franchise owners with industry skills but lack capital for start up.

Home-based office

One of great advantages with a white collar business is they can be started from home, giving the franchise owner great flexibility in running their business and it has been proven that home-based businesses can have a net operating profit of 50 per cent or more compared to 25 per cent or lower for some retail or van-based opportunities.

Less stock required

White collar businesses do not require as much stock and no stock collection means any stock management and transportation costs are diminished which saves you money and time in your average week. This allows you to concentrate on the key aspects that really drive your business forward, such as service quality and client acquisition.

Key Support

Support from the franchisor is a key element to any franchise, but even more with a white collar franchise due to the nature of the business and services being offered. With a white collar franchise there is a team of professionally trained people who can offer real insight on the best practice.

Working with businesses

White collar franchises being business-to-business franchises (B2B) means you are offering your services to businesses and like-minded professionals that can be seen as a great advantage. However, as an individual, you do have to make that choice whether you wish to work with business owners or end customers.

A way of narrowing down your search for your ideal white collar franchise is to look at business functions that every business has to undertake, therefore recession-proof such as accountancy, commercials cleaning or legal consultancy.

When researching franchising or considering taking a new path in your career, always follow your instinct and work out what is best for you, your lifestyle, why you are doing it and what do you ultimately want to achieve. Ensure you choose a business that is aligned with your own personal objectives and you won’t be disappointed.