Owning a franchise is a totally different experience from starting up a new business entirely on your own. As a franchise owner, you have the independence of being your own boss, supported by the benefits of a much larger and established brand, with proven business models, access to national advertising and ongoing support.
Franchises have a much higher success rate than start-up businesses. As stated in the recent NatWest Landscaping Report, approximately half to two-thirds of new businesses fail within the first three years of trading, but, franchise failure rates remain extremely low, with only 1% per year closing due to commercial failure. Franchisees enjoy the benefit of being able to hit the ground running from Day One, instead of spending time setting up new systems and procedures and producing marketing materials, because it’s already done for them.
We caught up with some of our Extra Help franchisees to find out exactly what they’ve learned since becoming franchise owners and what they would say to potential franchise owners. Here are our top five, favourite answers:
- “One lesson that really stands out for me is that planning and goal setting is essential. Everything depends on commitment and execution. You will only get out what you put in and, therefore, undivided dedication, hard work and devotion is the key to the success of your franchise. People buy from people; you need to personalise the brand and bring your vision and values to life in your local community. Walk in the customer’s shoes in everything you do and hold yourself accountable for the end-to-end journey. If you believe in your brand and service delivery, your clients will too.”
Nealem Stevens, Extra Help Maidenhead & Windsor
- “Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism, keep learning and surround yourself with genuine people.”
Denise Cooper, Rickmansworth
- “We have learned that we need to be prepared for anything. We need to be adaptable and flexible and keep all sorts of kit in the car. We’ve turned up to do meal preparation and been asked to make creme brûlée. We’ve gone to clean and ended up taping down a hall carpet runner, or unblocking a u-bend. Extra Help covers a whole host of tasks!
Communication is key. Problems crop up. Home helpers occasionally have mini crises and we can’t always cover. People understand that kids are sometimes sick or cars break down, but as long as we keep in touch and let them know what is happening, most people are understanding and bear with us. Everyone just likes to be kept informed.”
Cath Arnold & Carol Godding, Wirral
- “I have been running my Extra Help business for a couple of years now and have learnt that franchising can offer a rewarding and remunerative occupation. As I head through my sixties, I feel confident that I have found a profitable and fulfilling business that I will be able to competently continue for many years to come. My advice for potential franchisees is to do your homework and choose a franchise that reflects your passions and interests – look to do something you genuinely love and the rewards will naturally follow.”
Julia Ransome, Exeter
- “As the founder of Extra Help, I launched the first, successful franchise in Plymouth, which I subsequently sold. I have learnt so much from my experience, but one of the most important things I would advise potential franchisees to do is to follow the system and not try to recreate policies and procedures. The business model has been tried, tested and proven to work, so it makes no sense to alter it. And, as you already have the system in place and the backing of an established brand there for you, you can concentrate on building your business, rather than spending time on creating your identity and business processes. It is hard work in the beginning, as with any new business, but at least the franchise system helps make the journey a lot smoother.”
Claire Robinson, Managing Director, Extra Help
If you’re looking to invest in a franchise, why not consider Extra Help? We are always searching for caring and motivated franchisees, who share our passion for helping people, to join our network.