If you’ve always wanted to run your own practice, interact and manage your own clients and make sure your income reflects the value you add, then step this way. We’ve spoken to our resident Accountancy Franchise Manager Kath Cooper to give us her top tips on what you need to look out for when considering an accountancy franchise.
Over to you, Kath…
Tip 1: Self-evaluation and planning
Ask yourself what you want to achieve by owning your own business. How will this impact your life? Do you like the safety and security of full-time employment? Will your decision impact your family or friends? Are you prepared for the changes this will bring? Once you understand what’s important to you, you’ll be able to fairly evaluate all franchise opportunities and assess which suit you the best.
Tip 2: Money, commitment and passion
Joining a franchise is likely to be one of the most important investments you will make in your lifetime. It’s not just the financial commitment you will be making but also your time, energy and long-term commitment. To make that investment you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Assess what you can afford to invest, how much you are prepared to borrow and be sure to think about working capital. It’s crucial to remember that a franchise agreement would normally include a minimum term (usually 5 years with options to further renew), this means your working relationship is a long-term one and as such you want to make sure you’re working with a brand, culture and team that are right for you.
Tip 3: Research
If you have finance in place and are eager to run your own practice within the security of a well-known brand, the next step is research. Look at the market thoroughly. You can find a franchise on your own by searching the internet or use a franchise broker who work like matchmakers to connect prospective buyers to franchisors. It’s worth noting that not all brokers are impartial due to the fact they are often paid directly by the franchise company. So, as with all aspects of joining a franchise, this also requires plenty of research.
Tip 4: More research
Did you think we’d let you stop there? Absolutely not. You’ve researched the market, you know that you’re skilled and ready to take on this challenge. What next? Well, thorough research. Hopefully, by this point, you have a list of potential businesses you would be interested in. Now it’s time to book a meeting, speak with the team, meet the MD and learn more about their proposition.
Tip 5: What are they offering you?
You’re ready to hit the ground running and start bringing in new prospects and managing a growing portfolio of clients. But, at this point, you need to sit back and analyse the accountancy franchise proposition. Websites will overstate the support they offer franchisees, so speak to franchise owners and find out what they have to say, look for case studies, testimonials. Also, what marketing support will you receive? Do you have freedom of location for your franchise? This applies to even the finer details of software and telephony.
Tip 6: Make your decision
Once you’ve completed the personal, finance, research and assessment stages, it’s now time to make your final decision. Make sure you have the chosen match for:
- Financial commitment
- Positive change in your lifestyle
- Motivating company, helpful staff and engaging brand
- Recession proof concept
- Happy, engaged and successful franchise owners
- Specialist personnel to help you achieve your goals