Your Crafts Business as a Franchise
If your crafts business is thriving and you’re considering expanding, one way of doing so would be to turn your business into a franchise.
There are already many successful franchise businesses in existence in the UK and worldwide, covering many market areas, including crafts. Franchising is a good option if your business has already proved to be successful and you want to grow and develop it using the same model. It will only work if your business is already successful and is making money though, as it needs to be profitable enough for both you and your franchisees to continue to make money. You also need to have a model that can easily be applied to another local area and it’s best if your business doesn’t require any particularly high levels of skills or qualifications – the easier they are to run, the better.
If you’ve already established a business with a recognised – for good reasons! – brand name, then you’ll be off to a flying start. Plus, it will be beneficial if you’re able to provide franchisees with help, training, basic equipment and starting supplies. With various franchises out there, the more benefits you can provide to potential franchisees, the better.
Developing a franchise business isn’t always easy and can be a lot of hard work. Ideally, you need to have finances in place to help you continue to develop and market the franchise format and you need to be happy to work with franchisees more, rather than customers.
How a Franchise WorksWith most types of business franchise, you put together a business package which is then licensed to other franchisees. It works out well for them as they get to run their own business, but use your established business name or brand and your successful methods.
With the agreement they buy, you would provide an operations manual, providing them with all the basic information they need to set up and manage their new business. A contract sets out the rights and obligations you both have, for example with whether or not you’re prepared to offer additional training or marketing support, so everything is clear cut.
For you, the owner of the franchise, the money is made out of franchisees paying for the right to use your business model. As well as a set fee for them to purchase the franchise from you, you may also earn royalty fees on their business.
Sometimes there are other ways of operating a franchise which may work better for your business. For example, you could sell a license only, without providing franchisees with any business advice, or you could choose to let an agent sell your business model on behalf of you, freeing up your time to spend on your existing business.
However, you choose to operate, you do need to ensure you have proper contracts drawn up and signed by all parties involved, so everyone knows what’s involved. If you’re looking to pursue the franchise route, then it’s a good idea to get in contact with the British Franchise Association, as they’ll be able to provide you with lots of hints, tips and advice. There’s also the chance to interact with other businesses who belong to the British Franchise Association and glean personal experience from them.