Meet Beth. Beth is bored at work. Often googling fondant icing recipes and bubble tea instead of working, her dream is to run a cafe. She spends all her free time in the kitchen, writes a baking blog and samples new recipes endlessly.
Beth realises it’s time to get out of the office and into baking for a living.
Meet Felicity. Beth's friend Felicity is envious of her following her baking dream, as Felicity has always wanted to run an events business. Felicity works in marketing and thinks she has the skills to be a party planner.
She’s a little more cautious than Beth, but is keen to change her life too.
Here’s what Beth and Felicity did next. Which path will you follow?
Step 1: Research and motivation
Beth: Beth’s cafe idea has grown from a weekend passion to all-day obsession. She is keen to be her own boss, so researches how the cafe industry works. She hits the internet and discovers how to run a cafe, buy premises, and which products are big sellers.
Beth also checks what training and skills she might need. She keeps her research local and assesses the success of other neighbourhood cafes.
Felicity: Felicity isn’t as forthright as Beth; starting up sounds like a lot of work, and events planning is about reputation and design skill. Felicity hires library books on interior design and business management, but when searching online she discovers that she could become a franchisee of an events chain instead of starting from scratch, so she focuses her research on franchising.
Step 2: Start small, grow big
Beth: Beth discovers that she has been steadily building a business without realising, providing bake sale delicacies and catering for friends. Beth writes a business plan focusing on selling organic produce from a pastel-coloured high street shop. Her next big challenge is to find where to launch her stand-alone business so she investigates the cost of shop leases and refits.
Felicity: Felicity may have organised her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary party, but she’s needs on-the-job training in this competitive field. She foregoes events courses and contacts franchisors directly to find out what her events franchise might look like. Felicity discovers that she can style her own events under a respected brand and that she can start her business from home.
Step 3: Finances and making the leap
Beth: Beth's savings pot is small and with all her cash going on ingredients she cannot afford a long lease. However, she discovers that a cafe nearby is for sale. She emails the owner and meets them to look around. The cafe is a little run down, but it has all the fixtures and fittings she’ll need – including an ice cream fridge.
The cost of the business is more than her savings, but an accountant friend tells her about seller finance. Luckily, the owner will accept a down-payment for half of the business’s cost, and once Beth starts trading she can pay back the remainder on a monthly basis. Beth quits her job and starts her business.
Felicity: Felicity has more money in her savings pot, and she can get hold of a bit more with a small bank loan. She meets with her favoured franchisor who is looking for someone in her area. They discuss the cost of investing in the franchise, the ongoing support she will receive and her attendance at a two-week training course.
Felicity likes the brand and after discussing things with her partner, pays the franchise fee. She and the franchisor develop her business and she immediately works on styling a wedding.
Six months later…
Beth: Beth painted the shop and the previous owner helped her with suppliers. All of her friends turned up to her cafe opening and word-of-mouth for her delicious cakes has given her a steady trade; she has even hired a girl to work for her. Beth has paid off most of what she owes.
She is tired but happy and is considering catering at external events organised by Felicity.
Felicity: Felicity runs her busy events franchise from home. She has learned more than she could imagine working on weddings, parties and conferences. Felicity feels creatively inspired and is earning more money than she did before. She has little competition and works less hours than Beth, although they both work weekends.
Felicity has made many friends and has been approached to expand her business. She may have to hire Beth to help!
Now you’ve read their stories – it’s your turn. Are you a business buyer Beth or a franchise Felicity? Whatever you decide, you can start your journey at BusinessesforSale.com or here at FranchiseSales.com