Do I want to run my own business, or do I want a franchise?

You know you’re about to make your next career move and you know you want to be your own boss. Perhaps it’s time for more freedom, or perhaps you’d like more flexibility and balance in your life. If this sounds like you, you might be trying to work out whether you’d rather set up on your own, or you’d rather buy a franchise of an established business. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Should I run my own business?

Running your own business is exciting, challenging and rewarding. Successful entrepreneurs have a great business idea and the drive to make it succeed.

When you run your own business, there are many benefits:

  1. You are answerable to no one (except your clients!).
  2. It’s as much freedom as you can have and still be at work.
  3. You can choose how to spend any profits.
  4. You can shape your business as you see fit, and take it in whichever direction you feel it will succeed.
  5. You can create your own business ethos – if you want to see something done differently, you have the freedom to implement it.

But there are downsides as well:

  1. Starting a business from scratch is hard work with a lot of demands on your time.
  2. You need at least basic knowledge of finance, admin, client care, data management, marketing and more.
  3. You might not see any profits for a few years.
  4. The buck stops with you and there is a lot of responsibility.
  5. It can get lonely – you might miss having a colleague who can provide some objectivity.

Should I buy a franchise?

If you’re not sure whether or not starting your own business is the right step for you, you might consider buying a franchise instead. A franchise can provide a lot of the freedom of running your own business, but without the pressure of working alone to deliver your own ideas.

There are many benefits to buying a franchise:

  1. Enjoy the freedom to work for yourself
  2. Take advantage of existing brand and reputation
  3. Join a family of supportive franchisees
  4. Continue on your career path, managing your team and making many of your own business decisions.
  5. Benefit from centralised resources like marketing material, training courses and software.

However, buying a franchise isn’t for everyone.

  1. The business model and ethos are driven by the franchise owner. Fortunately, ours is tried and tested!
  2. The role of a franchisee is to lead, not to do – if you like rolling your sleeves up, you might prefer your own business where you can deliver your core work yourself.
  3. You’ll make regular payments to the franchise owner, in addition to the upfront purchase – this covers the cost of centralised resources.
  4. Some franchises (not Get Ahead!) set compulsory targets for franchisees.
  5. Some other franchises (again, not Get Ahead!) impose limits on how and where you work, preventing you from scaling your franchise.  

When we decided to franchise Get Ahead, we identified some of the problems of franchising and set out to address them. That’s why our franchisees aren’t under pressure from performance targets, do receive regular training and, above all, benefit from our scalable business model so they can push themselves and their franchise as far as they like.

Buy a Get Ahead franchise

Whatever you decide your next step should be, it’s got to be right for you. And if do decide to buy a franchise, we hope you’ll choose Get Ahead! Our site is full of resources to help you make your decision. You could also follow our social channels and find out more about our ethos. You can even book in a call with franchisor Rebecca Newenham – why not have a chat and get your questions answered before you take the plunge?

Buy a Get Ahead franchise – your business in a box!

If you’re reading this, you might well be doing your research before buying a franchise. Something that we feel sets us apart from other franchised businesses is that we offer a “business in a box” with many of the elements ready-made so you can hit the ground running.

In this blog, we look more closely at what our franchise package includes, so you can make an informed choice about your next career move.

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Buy a Get Ahead franchise – a great balance of freedom and support

Discussing experiences of being a Get Ahead franchisee recently, a comment that emerged was that we provide a great balance between freedom and support. That was just what we were going for, so we were delighted that our franchisees felt that way!

In this blog, we take a closer look at the Get Ahead model and what freedom and support look like when you join our team of regional directors.

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Should I leave the corporate world?

We talk to Fiona Ibbetson who left the corporate world to have more quality time with her children while still pursuing a fulfilling career. Fiona is now RD of Get Ahead Leeds and Get Ahead York and Harrogate.

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Buy a franchise with an award-winning business

When you’re comparing franchises, exploring your options, researching and carrying out due diligence, you might notice that the business you’re considering has won awards. At Get Ahead, we believe winning awards add value and reflects well on the business. Over the last eleven years, we’re proud to say we have won quite a few! Of course, we’re delighted to have our hard work recognised, but we also believe it’s helped us attract high calibre franchisees to take the brand to the next level.

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Why you didn’t achieve your goal…and what to do about it

Having the ambition to work for yourself shows an excellent attitude and one that it likely to succeed. To harness that ambition before it goes stale, it’s important to define business goals to keep you on track. But what happens when you don’t achieve your goal? How do you stay motivated and moving in the right direction?

If this happens to you, it’s important to stay strong, turn negatives into positives and find opportunities for improvement. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:

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Why work with a Get Ahead Regional Director?

Get Ahead operates in ten locations around the country, each with its own regional director. The regional director is your central point of contact, connecting you with the right virtual assistants, managing their output and tailoring the package to meet your business needs.

This blog looks at the role of regional directors and their part in delivering the right support for your business.

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How to onboard a new VA

Amanda Johnson, business coach, mentor and trainer, is bringing us her advice about how to onboard a new virtual assistant in your business. Her award-winning VA business, VACT, was established in 2003, and she has been in the industry since 2012, so she has plenty of great advice to share!

I love helping business owners find virtual assistants (VAs), and people often ask me how to onboard new VAs as smoothly and effectively as possible. In this blog I’ll look at the onboarding process from the business owner’s perspective and share my advice with you.

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Mindful marketing during the coronavirus pandemic

A lot has changed in a week, and this continues to be a very strange time for the world. The UK government has now ordered all pubs, restaurants, cafes, libraries and gyms to close, as well as shops selling non-essential items.* Many businesses are feeling the impact of these new protective measures, especially small businesses and independents, and many business owners now find themselves in the position of trying to keep things running while also heeding expert advice.

If you are one of the many people trying to come to terms with this new reality, we’re here to help, with some advice about how to market your business, mindfully and sensitively, during this difficult time.

1. Acknowledge it

The first thing to do is acknowledge to your customers what is happening, and what your business is doing to respond to the crisis. This might include closing brick-and-mortar stores, having your staff work from home or – if your business is part of a key industry – introducing new safety and hygiene measures. Whatever field you are in, it’s important that you talk to your customers, rather than just continuing with business as usual.

2. Reassess your marketing

Chances are you’ve already planned your marketing for the next few weeks or months – perhaps you’ve drafted email newsletters, scheduled Twitter or Instagram posts, or written blogs. If that’s the case, now is the time to go back over all your content and marketing plans and rethink them. Are they still relevant, given what is happening? Can you replace them with something more appropriate? It is much better to put in extra work to do this now, rather than ploughing ahead with content or campaigns that no longer strike the right tone.

3. Be agile

Typically, we advise business owners to plan ahead and be prepared – this is still important, but the next few months will likely require you to be more agile and responsive in your marketing efforts. This is an unpredictable, fast-changing situation, so any content you prepare could become redundant after a few days or weeks. Instead, try to be more flexible, and be prepared to change your marketing quickly if required.

4. Keep up your presence

It may feel like the best option right now is to stop marketing altogether. But if you feel able to keep doing it, and it is appropriate to do so, then you can continue to promote your business. Perhaps you could adapt your offering to suit the latest advice (e.g. focussing on online work, or selling vouchers that can be redeemed later), but even if you have to close, you can at least stay present with your audience as things progress. Despite the current atmosphere of uncertainty, this is temporary, and your customers and clients will want to return to you once this has passed, so let them know that you will be ready to welcome them back.

If you need extra support for your business during this tricky time, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. Our team of virtual assistants is happy to help with whatever business and marketing services you need. In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

* https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52010707