Top Tips For Becoming Your Own Boss in 2024

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Across the UK, more and more people are questioning their careers. As a cost of living crisis continues to loom, many employees are struggling to pay for essentials. In fact, employees from numerous sectors including mail, transport, and the NHS are striking, demanding better pay. With so many striking employees struggling with their salary, the Government claims it simply “cannot afford” to get everyone the wage they want. And while many are striking, on the other hand, others are taking the business into their own hands – by setting one up themselves.

But how do you go about getting into business for yourself? What routes to business ownership are available to you? Let’s find out.

Find Something You Love

As with any career path you choose, employment or not, the only way you’re going to be successful in the long run is to do something you enjoy. If you are an aspiring photographer, you can turn your passion into profit by starting up your own photography business. On the other hand, if you love spending time with pets, more and more people are starting up their own pet-sitting and dog-walking businesses. The latter is a fairly straightforward business model, often home-based and with low overheads. If you’re going to go into business ownership or employment, make sure it is something you will enjoy five or ten years down the line.

Do Your Due Diligence

Before jumping into any venture, it is essential to do your due diligence. This means, researching the market and business potential and understanding whether business owners would be the right decision. It is a good idea to understand the demand for a particular service and identify how and whether that demand is met. With the dog walking and pet sitting example, you can use Google and social media to identify local businesses. Understand how their business works and what their reputation is. Are their customers satisfied? If not – understand why and identify ways that you could build a business that overcomes competitors’ failures.

Franchising for Business Ownership

Franchising is one of several routes to business ownership, the other notable examples being starting up a business for yourself, and buying an already-established and trading business.

It is where a business owner (called a franchisor) licenses out the rights to use their brand name and system of operation, to entrepreneurs (who then become known as franchisees). The franchisee will “invest” in the business – ie purchase the rights to trade as the business, and in exchange, they will receive training, support, and everything they need to get started running the business.

Just like if you were to start up your business yourself, both investment and working capital are required. However, if you choose to go down the franchising route, you should remember that you’re purchasing the rights to trade as an established, proven, and recognized brand. You’re not starting one up yourself. There are many benefits of franchising, from immediate brand awareness, turnkey “business in a box” setup, and full support from the franchisor.

Understand Your Finances

If you decide to make the move and be your own boss in 2024, you need to prepare a business plan. The business plan covers your intentions for running the business and a well-laid business plan will help you when it comes to getting the business off the ground. A thorough business plan will be required if you need to source finance from a bank or lender. In the UK, many banks are able to lend up to 70% of the investment for franchises, thanks to their higher success rate. Understandably this figure is lower for startups but having a well-laid business plan can ensure your best chances of success.

Whether you’re going down the franchising or solo startup route, you need to be sure to set aside working capital. This should be in the region of £25k – £100k depending on the type of business you plan to run. Working capital is money that continues the business in operation until break even – the time when your expenses are recovered and your business starts profiting.

If you’re investing in a franchise, there will be ongoing costs involved that should be accounted for. Most franchisors will charge royalty fees and or monthly marketing fees used to help provide you with continued support and access to the brand.

Don’t Ignore Businesses For Sale

Existing business owners will eventually wish to retire and sell their businesses. That might be a local, individual business, or it might be a franchisee selling their territory (called a franchise resale).
The costs involved with buying an established and already-trading business will be higher than starting up a business alone because the previous owner will charge for their own efforts as well. Unlike a solo startup or new franchise territory, buying an existing business for sale comes with an established presence, an existing customer base, and active marketing.

Business Ownership in Summary

Franchising, buying a business, and starting up a business alone are three fantastic ways to get into business, however, each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

With franchising, you are able to benefit from a supportive framework. Franchise associations, banks, and franchise consultants are all able to help franchisors and franchisees thrive, but the fact that you’ll be paying ongoing royalties and won’t have complete control over the business can put some people off.

When starting up a business from scratch, you do have full control. But you’re more likely to make beginner mistakes which can end up being costly. You’ll also find that the business will be harder to grow, as you’ll be swimming in the same pond as your competitors without the added marketing boost that a franchise network can provide.

When it comes to purchasing an existing business or franchise resale, initial costs can be staggering, sometimes well over £100k. But the customers and benefits are there to see from day one, and a return on investment will be a lot sooner.

Whether you’re an employee looking for a career direction or you’re already a business owner looking to discover different avenues, there are many options to choose from. Franchising offers the best of both worlds when it comes to business ownership, a supportive framework combined with powerful brand recognition. Will you be joining the world of business ownership in 2024?

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