When you become a business owner, greater flexibility is on your side. You get to work your own hours and benefit from a better work life balance. But can the same be said about franchises? If you’re familiar with business format franchising, you’ll know that franchisees are bound by the franchisor’s operations manual and agreement. So can you run a franchise business on a part time basis? Let’s find out, but first if you’re not sure what a franchise is – we’ve got you covered.
What is a Franchise?
A franchise is a method of business expansion. Unlike other types of business expansion – for example supermarkets, where costs of new units are the responsibility of the company, franchising enables franchisees to fund the expansion of the franchisor’s business at the benefit of owning the business themselves, having a reasonable level of control, but most importantly operating under a proven, established brand name.
The franchisor is the company or individual which owns the franchise network and its trademarks, systems, processes and IP. The franchisee is the party which “invests” – purchases the rights to trade as the business, and gets granted access to operating the business in their own area – called a territory.
Franchising is a safer way of getting into business ownership. You get into business for yourself but not by yourself, in that for the investment, you get full training, support and everything you need to get up and running. It should be emphasised that franchising isn’t employment. You own the business and pay a license fee to use the brand name. A proven brand name has its advantages – immediate recognition and strength in numbers. But franchising isn’t for everyone, there are still guidelines that need to be followed and this ensures all franchisees trade in the same way. A good example of a franchise network is McDonald’s. Each unit is owned by a different franchisee, but they all follow the same system of operation – successfully. Deviating away from the proven system of operation has consequences, some of which can be catastrophic, so it’s always important to remember that with franchising, you need to follow the operations manual and abide by the franchise agreement. So franchising isn’t complete control, but it’s not employment either.
Can Franchises Be Run Part Time?
But despite the limitations outlined above, franchising does still offer considerable flexibility. The franchisor isn’t there to do the work for you, and the success of the business is up to you. How hard you work; how much you put in; that’s your decision and this will be reflected in the success of the business.
Many franchises can be run part time. Franchises like vending. Vending franchises are considered a fantastic entry point into the world of franchising because they enable franchisees to scale the growth of the business within their territory at their own pace. There are many franchises out there that can be run part time.
Many franchises can be run on a part time basis, alongside another franchise or employment, offering a safety net for franchisees that may find it a struggle to generate sufficient working capital in the early days. It is often possible to run a franchise on a part time basis alongside either a job or another franchise. For many, part time franchise opportunities can be a healthy source of additional income.
Should You Run a Franchise on a Part Time Basis?
Even if a franchise can be run on a part time basis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Franchisors will often charge monthly franchise fees and if your turnover doesn’t meet expectations, this royalty fee can take an unpleasant proportion of your profits. With business ownership, it is a good idea to reach as high as possible, especially during the early days. Once clients are on board and the business is turning over a good sum, it may be possible to take a more hands off approach.
Before you start operating a franchise on a part time basis you need to speak to the franchisor to see whether it is viable, operationally and financially. If you’ve used a bank or lender for funding the franchise investment, or if you’ve leased a vehicle, you need to factor in these costs as well as the monthly service fees, to determine whether it is even worth running the franchise at all on this basis. Sometimes it is better to give it your all.
That said, many franchises can in fact be run successfully without trouble, on a part time basis. We’ll look at some of these later.
When investing in a franchise, whether part time or not, it needs to be something you enjoy. If you invest in a franchise purely for financial benefit, you may be doomed to fail. Break even can be anywhere from a few days to a few months or even years. If you don’t enjoy the business you will get bored very quickly and struggle to stay in the game.
Can Franchises Be Run Full Time?
As explained earlier, franchisees should aim to put in as much as they can to make the business thrive. As with anything, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of running a franchise. Many franchisors require franchisees to run the business full time, or at least put in full time commitment. As mentioned previously, franchising isn’t employment, so when you put in those hours is up to you. Franchising can easily fit around your personal commitments because although there are processes to follow, it is ultimately you that owns the business in territory.
Full time franchises can also be run as Monday to Friday franchises.
What Types of Franchises Can Be Run Part Time?
So what franchises can be run on a part time basis? Which franchises can be run part time, with the option to put in more hours and get an “unlimited earning potential” experience that many franchisors use to advertise a franchise business?
Cleaning franchises are a fantastic example of a management type franchise operation. And management franchises are a great example of how a franchise can be run on a part time basis.
If you’re not sure what a management franchise is, it is a style of operating a business in that rather than the franchisee doing the hands-on work, the franchisee employs and manages a workforce. In the example of cleaning, the franchisee employs cleaners who do the cleaning – not the franchisee. When the franchisee does the recruitment, the marketing, and finding work and clients for cleaners – is up to them. Believe it or not, some cleaning franchises actually automate the client job finding, so the franchisee has a lot less of finding clients, and more time to market the business. In terms of scalability, the franchisee will often have the control over how many clients, how many cleaners and how many hours they put in. So long as the work gets done, it is up to the franchisee when they work; in most cases this is considered a good example of a part time franchise.
Owner Operated Franchises
A similar principal can be applied to the opposite of management franchises which is “owner operated”. Franchises like window cleaning and oven cleaning; how many hours the franchisee puts in is up to them. Despite these examples often requiring a van, turnover can be great and overheads can be low, making these types of franchises viable even if the franchisee puts in just a few hours a week. Oven cleaning franchisees may charge £70 per clean, five cleans a week equals £350, that’s £1400 a month. And that’s a bare minimum, many oven cleaning franchisees actually do more than 10 cleans a week, that equates to 2 cleans a day, or 5 cleans in two days and the rest of the week off, and even then, at the £70 per clean rate, that’s a whopping £700 a week! Just a few cleans a week and almost £3,000 in turnover; many franchises truly can be operated on a part time basis.
Another good example of an owner operated setup are massage and mobile beauty salon franchises, where you’d visit clients carrying out spas and treatments. On this basis, client bookings for massages would be very much up to you, and if you want to run it on a part time basis that’s your decision. Ultimately the less time you put in the longer your time to a return on investment, and the more working capital you require. But beneficially as an owner operator, overheads will of course be very low.
As discussed earlier, vending franchises are a prime example of a low cost, part time business model. Be it a coffee machine supplier / technician franchise or a vending tower business, vending franchises enable the franchisee to scale the business growth at their own pace. With often minimal overheads, vending businesses can usually be run alongside other commitments with very little loss.
Because of their scalability they are usually considered a good entry point into franchising, and this is tantalised even more by their often low initial investment too, made back very quickly.
Home Based Franchises
A fairly obvious example, many home based businesses will enable you to work around your own schedule. That might involve taking your kids to school, working through the day, spending time with them in the evening and then spending an hour or two when they’ve been put to bed. Or perhaps you need some time off for a wedding or family plans – you’ve got no employer to ask, schedule your clients or work as you wish. After all, it’s your business. Just remember that the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of franchising.
How Much Do Part Time Franchises Cost?
The number of hours worked by the franchisee is irrespective of the franchise investment. The franchisor may offer different options when it comes to what’s included in the franchise package. But with regards to the effort and hours the franchisee puts in, the only financial variable or financial constraint, is the royalty fee. A franchisor may put a minimum on the royalty fee which can impact earnings, or they might simply do a percentage of turnover. You should speak to the franchisor about how your efforts affect what you can get out of the business.
Franchise Frequently Asked Questions
Franchise profitability strongly depends on how much work you put in. Part time franchises can be profitable provided you put the effort in, and many franchises like vending businesses generate turnover while the franchisee is not actively working. As the saying goes, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. If you want a business to be successful you need to be prepared to put the work in. As a part time franchisee, you may find limitations on how much you can put in, applying limitations to your potential earnings.
Many franchises can be run part time. Some good examples include: pet franchises, oven cleaning franchises, vending franchises and cleaning businesses. These all enable you to schedule clients around your own commitments, allowing flexibility to run the business part time.
How many hours you work often bares no relation to the franchise investment. However royalty fees play a part in the ongoing costs of your franchise and the less work you put in, the greater the impact these royalty fees will be on your business. The more you put in, the less impact the monthly franchise fees will affect your turnover. Franchises, part time or not, will usually be around the £40,000 investment mark, with some available for less, and others reaching six-figure investment.
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