Unlike other dubious work from home opportunities, home based franchises UK give you a full-fledged source of income – a business of your own that you can grow the way you want to. Here’s all you need to know about these opportunities.
Working from home is one thing many of us dream of, but only few can well and truly pull off.
There’s no denying – it’s a wonderful idea to be able to work right from the comforts of your home, preferably on your own terms.
The internet has finally made this possible for many – and the number only keeps rising every year.
Franchising, in that respect, has been a great catalyst. Thousands of UK citizens now run successful franchise businesses from their homes. In this article, we’ll take a look at what home-based franchises bring to the table and what you – as a would-be franchisee – can expect from them.
First Things First – Remote Working Is No More a ‘Hip’ Trend, It’s a Full-Fledged Lifestyle
Working from home was never really a mainstream idea before the internet came about.
Today, however, things are a touch different. Working from home is not necessarily something that people are forced into doing as a result of circumstances. It’s an alternate lifestyle that many choose on their own volition. Multiple factors – from the lack of local opportunities to physical restraints – play a part, but the point here is that home-based job opportunities are no more limited by skills or rewards. If your job can be done remotely, you can get paid fairly for it.
The numbers are pretty interesting in this regard.
Over the past decade, work-from-home workforce has been steadily increasing in numbers. ONS data revealed in 2015 that over 4 million people worked from home across industries. An interesting insight – provided by a private surveyor – tells us what businesses think of this trend. Nearly a third of UK business owners think that close to 50% of the UK workforce will be working from home, come 2020.
What Does This Trend Say About Home Based Franchises UK?
Throughout our franchising blogs, we have maintained that franchising is a business model that’s here to stay.
Combine this with the trend of people and businesses preferring home-based working and you have a vision that’s more than promising.
“4 out of 10 UK Franchises are either presently home based, or have the potential to be. Considering the overall survival rate of franchise businesses over the first five-year period, it’s safe to assume that home-based franchises deserve to be taken much more seriously.”
Home based franchises UK are more popular today than they ever have been, partly because more and more people are now open to the idea of running a flexible business of their own – as opposed to just working for someone else or being a freelancer. All these factors – the growing entrepreneurial spirit, conducive economy, ease of doing business, the flexibility that comes with home-based working and the unlimited earning potential – mean that it’s about time we took home-based franchises seriously.
How Do Home Based Franchises UK Work?
The biggest concern that many franchisees have before signing up is the ‘fear of the unknown’.
Working from home for an employer is one thing – but having to run the whole show yourself is a completely different ball game. So, it’s not too difficult to see where the apprehensions come from. A good way of dealing with this is to know and understand how home-based franchises work.
The Niche – The Most Prevalent Bottleneck
If it were possible, most businesses would hire home-based employees. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
In the same spirit, the business niche is the most definitive bottleneck as far the inner working of a home-based franchise is concerned. As of today, the majority of work-from-home franchises are professional service providers of some sort. Think accounting, consultations, pet services, real estate and even babysitting. Another common denominator in most of these franchises is the personal involvement of the franchisee. If you are already experienced in the field of business your franchise will operate in, you will have no trouble getting your business off the ground.
The operations of home-based franchises are like any other franchise – except they are all carried out from your home, and not some office.
What this also means that your work will either be exclusively remote with no customer walking in, or visit-based where you visit the customer’s home/office as and when the need be.
Will you be required to hire staff? Where will this staff work from? Will you delegate all your work to the staff and just play the manager?
It all, again, depends on the nature of your business.
If you want to run a home-based pet food franchise, you’ll probably need a few employees to drive mobile vans, tend to customer appointments and answer routine service calls. On the other hand, if you want to run a home-based accounting franchise, you may not need to hire staff at all until you decide to expand your operations.
For a home-based franchise, this is another aspect that often turns into a headache.
Will the training be online or on-site? Will there be regular training sessions as your business grows? Will the franchisor take responsibility of ‘initiating’ you in their business?
The level of training you receive from the franchisor will always play a huge role in deciding how well you get up and running and how quickly you get used to this new model. If you work with a reputed franchisor, it can be expected that they have elaborate training programs in place to keep you on track. If not, you will be forced to figure things out on your own.
This is precisely why it is extremely important to choose the right franchisor.
The Pros and Cons of Home Based Franchises UK
Home-based franchises have some obvious and some not-so-obvious pros and cons that all need to be considered before you make a business move.
Advantages of Home Based Franchises
1. Cheaper to Buy and Run
The minimum initial investment for most home-based franchises is usually on the lower side when compared with traditional, location-based franchises. Some work-from-home franchise opportunities let you get started for a minimum investment as low as £4,000!
This includes lower franchise fees, marketing capital and other one-off overheads.
As far as regular operations go, home-based franchises are unanimously cheaper to run. You don’t have to worry about renting a location and paying for the utilities. If your franchise can run without you requiring to hire staff, that can also save you a great deal of money.
2. Freedom (That Comes with a Lot of Responsibility!)
The freedom to work on your terms is certainly a thing of luxury. Home-based franchise opportunities allow you this freedom.
At the same time, it needs to be remembered that you will be responsible to the performance of your business. Choosing the right business structure can take care of many issues related to this.
This is perhaps the most compelling argument in favour of work-from-home opportunities – and home-based franchises are no exceptions. Running your business from home allows you to be flexible in terms of scheduling your work hours, getting work done and looking after your other interests.
There’ll be no hours lost in commuting, no time wasted in nursing fatigue/stress that comes with having to ‘go to work’.
Of course, home-based franchises don’t offer you a stress-free lifestyle, but if you enjoy running your own business, this might work very well for you.
5. Opportunity to Learn
Most workplaces don’t offer explicit learning opportunities to their employees. Working for yourself – as work-from-home franchises let you do – can be a great learning experience that can help you grow as an entrepreneur and as a person.
6. Ideal for Parentrepreneurs
Helming the responsibility of looking after a young family doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your entrepreneurial talents. Home-based franchises offer an ideal platform for stay-at-home parents to explore new avenues, achieve their goals and benefit from a steady stream of income.
Relative Disadvantages of Home-Based Franchises
1. Scalability Problems
A good business is inherently scalable. Even when your revenue is limited by the size of the industry itself, it’s makes no sense to have more limitations. Many home-based franchise opportunities face such scalability problems.
2. Blurred Lines
Working from home also means that you’ll always take your work home (and vice versa). In such a situation, it’s very easy to let your personal, social and professional lives to overlap.
3. The Niche Bottlenecks
We touched upon this point briefly in the earlier part of this post.
To find a franchise opportunity that goes well with your expertise AND is home-based can often be a tough task.
4. Inability to Raise Finance
Running a home-based franchise means that you can often make do with limited working capital. In case, however, you need to raise more money to fund business operations, things can get tricky. But it’s not all too bad – if you and/or your spouse have got a good credit score to bank on, you can raise money in your personal capacity to take care of your home-based franchise business.
5. The Red Tape
It’s not always straightforward to convert a home into an office (or, even a home-office).
If you are planning on housing business operations that require storing inventory, equipment or workspace for staff, you may need to obtain licences (usually from your local council). If you wish to make changes to the structure of your house, you will, of course, need the relevant planning permission.
All these bureaucratic hurdles mean that you can’t always ‘start’ right away after buying the franchise.
Types of Home Based Franchises UK
If you can think of a business, it’s likely that there exists some home-based version of it somewhere.
That said, here are some of the most common types of home based franchises UK:
1. Computer/Internet Based Franchises
Web development, customer service, content agencies, graphic design etc.
2. Education/Art Based Franchises
Tutoring franchises – languages, music, sport, fine arts, dance etc.
3. Fitness Instructor Franchises
Swimming, Crossfit, Yoga, MMA etc.
4. Property and Finance Franchises
Asset management, tax consultations, loans, real estate, accounting etc.
5. Pet Franchises
Pet foods, pet grooming, pet care etc.
6. Home Services
Cleaning, home improvements, pest control, landscaping, kitchen makeovers, maintenance etc.
7. Senior Care Franchises
Assistive support, overall care, medical care etc.
8. Vending Franchises
Industrial vending machines, retail vending machines etc.
9. Admin Support Franchises
Providing remote admin support to local/remote clients (as a franchise).
10. Travel Franchises
Travel planning, insurance, cruise agencies etc.
Top Home Based Franchises UK
It’s clear that there’s a huge variety to draw from when it comes to work-from-home franchises in the UK. Here are our top picks*:
- Minimum Initial Investment: £8,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Comprehensive pet food services
- Type: Pet services franchise
- Full training provided
- Online presence – social media, dedicated franchise website, Google My Business
- Marketing support
- Flexible operations
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £37,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: High-quality, reliable domiciliary care
- Type: Senior care franchise
- Reputed brand name
- International presence
- Full training provided
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £37,950 (plus VAT)
- USP: Strategic cost management services
- Type: Business services franchise
- A leading business management brand
- Full training provided (including a residential training course)
- Personalised support
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £37,500 (plus VAT)
- USP: Property damage insurance claims
- Type: Insurance franchise
- In business for over 13 years
- Large network of franchises
- Full training provided
- 100% work-from-home opportunity
- High profit margins
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £19,500 (plus VAT)
- USP: Specialty IT equipment cleaning services
- Type: Cleaning franchise
- Unique services, pioneer in their niche
- Full training and support
- Large B2B business network
- Easy to set up from home
- Suitable for business district residents
- Associate BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £2,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Fun, creative cookery workshops and parties for children
- Type: Entertainment/tutoring franchise
- Relatively newer establishment, unique business model
- Opportunity to build a steady business in residential districts and suburbs
- Ongoing support
- Low start-up cost
*The information provided in this section is merely indicative in nature. Please contact the respective franchisor for more information.
Home Based Franchises UK – Important Takeaways
- Understand the risks that come with buying a franchise.
- Know that running a business is a full-time job. There may be no days off.
- Carry out necessary market research before you buy a franchise.
- Understand how working from home will impact your life.
- Choose your franchisor wisely.
If you run a home based franchise, we (and thousands of our regular readers) would love to know about your experience. To stand a chance to feature in our widely popular franchising success stories section, do feel free to get in touch with us.