Redundancy can be scary. But redundancy can also be a blessing in disguise.
Firstly, it can shake you out of a rut you might never have managed to climb out of. Secondly, it forces you to change your life. And thirdly, it can come with a cash cushion that will make your landing that bit softer.
You could spend all that money on a lime-green Lamborghini, of course, and which of us wouldn’t be at least slightly tempted to do that? But, at the risk of upsetting Lamborghini dealers by steering you away from that particular dream, you could use that money instead to take revenge on your boss by becoming your own – and being the success you always knew you could be. Lord Sugar did it the hard way, starting out by selling car aerials, getting a market stall, then working his way up, by trial and error, into the business phenomenon he is today.
You could do the same – if you have the time, the patience and the acumen. But with even household-name businesses going to the wall during the pandemic and lockdowns – the worst economic crisis in living memory – it would take an exceptionally brave business man or woman to start one from scratch right now.
Even if you’re lucky (and luck can play a big part in it, however hard you work), you’ll have to avoid all the rookie (and costly) mistakes that people in your chosen field repeatedly make, and it can take a long time to discover the most efficient or effective ways of achieving what you need to do.
The nine-to-five you became so comfortable with in your old job will become a distant memory as you work all the hours God sends to try to get your business established, and maybe, just may-be, your competitors will decide to give you a break and sit on their hands for a year or two to give you a chance to catch up. But there is another way.
There’s no need to go it alone
Instead of reinventing every wheel you come across and gambling your time and money on dis-covering what works and what doesn’t, why not stand on giants’ shoulders instead? Not only will you be able to see the promised land more easily from up there, but the seven-league boots that come with it will help you make great strides in whichever direction you decide to go in.
Unless you win The Apprentice or play with fire in the Dragon’s Den, finding the right giants’ shoulders to stand on isn’t easy. People who are already successful in your chosen field tend to keep the secret of their success to themselves for fear of a competitor stealing a march on them, and philanthropists prepared to spend hundreds of hours mentoring you, for free, are only likely to be listed on hensteeth.com. However, there is a short cut to owning your own business – a business that’s heard-of, successful, and ready to reward the effort you put into it. It’s called franchising.
Finding your franchising match
And before you think of David Brent going door-to-door, demonstrating the wringability of cham-ois leathers to unreceptive business prospects, you might be surprised at the businesses you admire but didn’t realise were franchised.
Take Toni & Guy, for instance, or TaxAssist Accountants. Stagecoach Performing Arts. And that’s apart from the ones we do all know including McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway. The one thing they have in common is that they’re proven successes, household names, and owned by people like you.
They don’t let just anyone buy into them, of course. When you go to a McDonald’s, anywhere in the world, you rely on the fact that the food, and your experience, will be every bit as good and familiar as it is in your home town. And the hair-do you get at Toni & Guy in Plymouth will be every bit as beautiful and right for you as it would if you went to the Toni & Guy salon in Covent Garden.
That doesn’t happen by accident. Every one of those franchisees has to do things the Toni & Guy way, for instance, use Toni & Guy’s signage and branding, and deliver their services to Toni & Guy’s exacting standards.
The people who founded Toni & Guy spent years getting the business to where it is, and anyone who doubts it works should check the books or, even better, book an appointment when the sa-lons are open again. You’ll look lovely. But buying a franchise is a serious business. It’s a little like dating, too. You might fancy them but they might not fancy you, and vice-versa. But when you do find the right match, you have the opportunity to change your life by taking con-trol of your own destiny, being your own boss and, if you’re determined enough, to maybe earn enough to have that Lamborghini as well, rather than instead.
Which type of franchise would work for you?
There are several ways of doing things. Some franchisors insist you’re an experienced hairdresser, accountant or teacher yourself – but there are plenty of franchisors who look instead for transferable skills, attitudes and potential.
After all, how many of us are experts in, say, drainage, signage or the jewellery trade? But the skills and experience we’ve developed in our own fields can be gold-dust in business, so many franchisors recognise that and offer comprehensive training programmes to those with the right potential. And many franchisors will let you be a manager and employ people with the right skills, or even an owner-investor who employs managers to take care of the day-to-day business.
Some franchisees go on to own a string of franchises once they’ve proven themselves, snapping up new territories and building up an eyewateringly valuable portfolio. We can help you make sense of it all, if you’d like us to, because we work with the people behind the great franchises to help them find people like you. We can point you in the right direction and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about franchising but were afraid to ask! But first, we suggest you take a look at our franchising-your-way-out-of-redundancy page.
It could be the best move you ever made. And while that redundancy may have stung at first, we bet you’re beginning to feel better about it already.