What experience do I need?
Why your skills and CV aren’t as relevant as you might think
Starting a franchise is proven to be one of the least risky options of going into business for yourself. And the reason for that is that, with a franchise, you aren’t left by yourself. Instead, you are handed the blueprints to a business model that, if you follow the processes correctly, means you will be successful. A good franchisor will have ironed out most of the mistakes a new business owner will make.
They’ll have a documented system for you to follow, and personnel within their organisation to train and support you while you build your new business. All you need to do is follow that model, apply common sense and be prepared to put in some effort in the business-building phase. Your success as a franchisee, then, is determined by your application and aptitude, not your skills or any prior experience.
Almost anyone, at any time, can start a new career with a franchise
A key advantage of starting a franchise, too, is the ability to switch careers later in life. Plenty of ex-police officers and military personnel have started franchises straight out of the force.
And there’s nothing stopping a chemist becoming a coffee shop owner or a cost-reduction specialist, it that’s what they fancy turning their hand to. Successful franchisees come from all walks of life and from a wide variety of diverse careers. The experiences they’ve amassed on their CVs, though, are less relevant than you might think.
Only a small number of franchises require existing skills
There will be some franchise opportunities, of course, in which your career history is more important than others. If you’re thinking of starting an accounting franchise, for example, you will typically need some experience in the financial or business sectors. Or if you want to start a hands-on franchise that requires practical skills then, clearly, you’ll be less successful if you struggle with basic DIY tasks.
In most cases, though, when you’re reading through a list of franchise opportunities, you’ll find the advertisements themselves are quick to point out that previous experience isn’t required.
Why experience doesn’t matter when starting a successful franchise
When a franchisor is considering your application, they’ll show some interest in your CV. But a lot less interest than if you were applying for a job. To them, your ability to learn something new is more important than anything else. Added to that, you’ll need to convince them that you have self-belief and a belief in their business too.
Having a passion for that particular franchise – especially if, like in most businesses, you’ll be involved in selling your products or service – is vitally important. It really does make things easier – and in turn, you’ll be more successful – if you both like, and believe in, what you are selling.
The average age of a franchisee in the UK is mid-40s. So, typically, they’ll have had at least a couple of decades work experience under their belts. And of course, that counts for something. But more importantly, they’ve amassed life experiences by that age, and have a level of maturity that will be an advantage when starting a new business.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons you’re statistically far more likely to be successful when starting a franchise than going it alone. Whatever you’re age or background, though, there are hundreds of great franchise opportunities out there. So, don’t let a lack of experience prevent you from starting a new career in franchising.