If you’re looking to get into business ownership, running a business from home is a fantastic choice. A home based business isn’t just about convenience, being around familiar surroundings, but logically a home based business is a brilliant concept. It just makes sense. Not only are you minimising your overheads and operating costs, you’re also likely to be more productive. And whilst being in your home can sound like a distraction, the ocean between working from home in employment and working from home running your own business is vast – you’re more likely to:
- Enjoy what you do
- Devote more time and interest into the business simply because it’s yours
- Therefore reap the rewards and ultimately make more money
B2B franchises are no exception to home based business ownership. Whilst there are many B2C home based franchises in the UK, from travel to property and lettings, dropshipping and ecommerce to vending tower franchises that work while you sleep, B2B is also a prominent home based business sector.
Why is Franchising an Excellent Choice for Entrepreneurs?
Franchising is one of many ways to get into business ownership. For many entrepreneurs, it is a choice they haven’t looked back from. When you look to get into business ownership, generally the most common 3 routes are:
- Starting up a business of your own
- Buying an established business including franchise resales
- Investing in a franchise
When starting up a business from scratch, on your own, you’re susceptible to many beginner mistakes. Even if you do have experience owning and running a business, there are many pitfalls lying in wake, from tax to accounting, business management to marketing. Mistakes are there to be learnt from, but they can be costly and motivationally damaging. At times you may feel yourself taking one step forward and two steps back. But starting up a business isn’t impossible, in fact every business and franchise will have started out somewhere!
You can consider buying an established business, but despite cashflow from day one, the upfront price can be phenomenal – six figures or more.
But with franchising, you get many of the luxuries of starting up a business from home, all coupled with comprehensive support, business training and an established, proven brand. Often referred to as the franchise “investment”, the investment covers training, support and everything you need plus access to the brand name, for you to run in your own area. It is called an investment because your efforts will build value of a business you can later sell.
Franchising is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs because you get access to an established brand (which comes with immediate recognition when you launch), everything you need to launch, plus full training and a supportive safety net if you ever need experience of the franchisor to call upon.
Which Types of B2B Franchises Can Be Run From Home?
The sound of only needing a laptop and a phone might sound entrepreneurially constraining, but the opportunities are vast. Here are just some of the top types of B2B franchises that can be run from the comfort of your own home.
Commercial Cleaning Franchises
Both domestic and commercial cleaning franchises can be run from home. Whilst these types of franchises are self explanatory, what isn’t immediately obvious is how a commercial cleaning business can be run from home. Similar business models, cleaning franchisees will run the business on a management type setup. Management franchises are businesses where you manage a workforce, not doing the end-work yourself. As a commercial cleaning business owner, your role will be marketing the business and ensuring cleaners have sufficient work. Where you do your own work is up to you, either from home or the beach.
B2B cleaning franchises will require a generous amount of working capital because you will have staff salaries to pay, and cover the costs of marketing the business. At least £30,000 should be set aside as working capital. That’s in addition to the franchise investment which shouldn’t be upwards of £15,000 to £50,000.
Commercial Automotive Franchises
Many van based franchises like windscreen repair, hydraulic hose replacement and vehicle recovery – these all have the potential to be run as a multi van fleet, maximising and fully using the potential within the franchisee’s territory. Initially these businesses should be run as an owner operator business, but thanks to the sizeable territories many B2B franchises offer, the potential to expand before having a more management style approach is usually deemed viable.
Business Coaching, Training and Business Advice Franchises
One of the more obvious types of B2B franchises, is white collar business to business franchises. A very broad but full of diversity sector within franchising, B2B white collar franchises cover everything from business training, cost reduction and accountancy through to call answering, handling and remote assistance.
All of the above can be run from home, easily.
There will of course be times when you need to visit your clients, but in a digital age, software like Zoom and Teams usually replace the need for the commuting involved.
B2B franchises are incredibly lucrative and coupled with the low costs and minimal overheads that come with home based business ownership, there stands the opportunity for substantial turnover.
There are many B2B opportunities in the UK, from corporate catering to vending towers, B2B makes up a fair share of the 1,000+ franchises that are available.
Benefits of Investing in a B2B Franchise
There are many benefits of investing in a B2B franchise, more so when the business can be run from home! From low overheads to high returns, here are just some of the top benefits of business ownership via franchising.
Established Brand Name
One of the biggest reasons many choose to invest in a franchise is access to a proven brand name. Unlike starting a business from scratch, franchising enables you to jump start your business with an already-known brand name. From McDonald’s to Wiltshire Farm Foods, these are all franchises in the UK – becoming a franchisee means you get access to a brand name that is already known by potential clients. This can immediately influence business in your area, thanks to pre-existing reputation.
Training and Support
You won’t necessarily need any past experience in the B2B sector, or at least running and managing a business. Usually your franchisor will provide you with support and partners to help your business thrive. As part of the franchise agreement, you’ll usually get access to partners and suppliers who work with the franchise network, sometimes even offering discounted products or services (known as group purchasing power / increased buying power).
A Proven Business Model
Starting up a business from scratch can not only be risky, it can also feel like a jump into the deep end. You won’t have the training and support of a franchisor, you’ll need to find new partners/suppliers yourself, and you won’t have an existing, recognised brand name. Reputation can take years to build, establishing a local presence can be challenging. The proven business model offered with franchising usually provides you with comprehensive launch marketing, online prominence plus everything you need to get the business off the ground.
Best Places to Invest in a B2B Franchise in the UK
Thanks to the rise of home based working, many locations across the UK are more than suitable to run a B2B franchise. However many locations are adept, in that they are hubs for industry and businesses. These urbanised areas are fantastic for running a B2B business. If you’re looking to invest in a B2B franchise in the UK, some of the top places include:
- London – The capital of the UK, London is a fantastic place to run any type of business. Densely populated, with both domestic and commercial prospects, London has its fair share of industry. All over London are aggregate businesses, intermodal and shipping, logistics, from Colnbrook all the way to Thames Gateway. Outside of these steel-booted sectors, streets are lined with accountancy firms, cafes and healthcare practices who will benefit from cleaning, business consultancy and much more.
- Yorkshire – Yorkshire is one of the biggest counties in the UK and gives rise to many small independent businesses. Ideal for those looking to run a B2B franchise from home, Yorkshire offers untapped potential.
- Northern Ireland – Many franchises in England Scotland and Wales have focussed their expansion efforts on those three regions, simply because it is easier to recruit franchisees that don’t have to travel overseas to attend discovery days, exhibitions etc. As a result, opportunities within Northern Ireland are great in numbers making it a great place to run a business, home based or not.
If the franchise is internet based with no geographical restrictions on clients, it really doesn’t matter where you run the franchise. There are many franchises for sale in the United Kingdom, and with the rise of home based working, a decent number can be run from home.
Things to Remember When Investing in a Franchise
Don’t forget that you don’t always need to fund the entire franchise investment by yourself! Many banks and businesses are members of the British Franchise Association and favour franchising as a greater choice for business ownership thanks to its higher success rates. Generally around 93%, franchisees claim greater profitability compared to the success rate of business startups which is around 79%. That’s a statistic from the 2018 bfa NatWest survey. If those figures weren’t appetising enough, just 1% of franchisees closed due to commercial failure.
You should also remember that many franchisors will charge franchise royalty fees for continued access to the brand. This is usually a small percentage of your turnover, but it is best to check with the franchisor.
If you have children, you should take into consideration the requirements of a quite space or home office. It is easy to get disrupted if you can’t set aside time or a place to work in peace.
Finally, franchising isn’t employment. Although you’ll have some rules and procedures to follow as part of the franchise operations manual, such as brand guidelines, the business is very much yours. It is your responsibility to make sure the business is successful, and provided you do so, the rewards will be there to see very soon.
Home Based B2B Franchises – Frequently Asked Questions
The first step is finding opportunities you’re interested in. Make a list of 10 B2B franchises, identify if they can be run from home, and then request more information from each. Compare the franchises and shortlist 3, before attending discovery days, calls or meeting the franchisor at a franchise exhibition. Following this, the next step will be an interview, to ask more formal questions, before signing an NDA and going over the franchise agreement with your lawyer. You may or may not need to put a deposit agreement down at this stage. Once you’ve chosen to go ahead with your selected B2B franchise, you’ll put a deposit down, secure a territory and prepare to launch.
Yes – many Business to Business (B2B) franchises can be run from home. As discussed in this article, many B2B businesses – from commercial cleaning, vending, corporate catering, business training and more – these can all be run from home
Whilst there are generally more consumers within a franchise territory than businesses, despite this, B2B franchises remain one of the most profitable types of franchises in the UK.
The answer will lie in your due diligence. You need to explore your area and identify the demand. Depending on the type of B2B franchise you’re after, you need to understand whether the demand has already been met, and if not, understand whether a franchise will be a viable solution. If you’re interested in a cleaning franchise, B2B may not be viable if there are only a small number of businesses within your area. If you’re in an area with strong industry, B2B may be better choice. Explore the market and carry out due diligence. One of the reasons business owners make the decision to franchise rather than scale at company expense, is that franchisees know their own local area better than the franchisor!
B2B is an abbreviation of Business to Business and refers to any type of franchised business who’s main clientele is other businesses. Examples of B2B franchises include commercial cleaning, vending machine suppliers and merchandising.