If you love motorcycle riding, you’ve probably daydreamed about riding a motorbike for a living. While being a professional motorcycle racer or trail bike stunt person is OK for some, not all of us are capable of reaching the heady heights of motorcycle sports. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to make motorbikes a part of your everyday life. Lots of keen motorcyclists turn their love of riding into a day job by becoming instructors or stepping into one of many motorcycle franchise business opportunities. Below we take a look at the pros and cons of franchise opportunities in the UK.
Getting started with a franchise opportunity in the UK
Before you quit your day job, you’ll need to sit down to carefully consider if running your own business is really what you want to do. Opening a motorcycle school in the UK from scratch means you’ll need to meet a number of criteria and minimum standards before you even think about the safety gear and lessons you’ll offer.
A simpler way to begin is to open a school as a franchise UK. Phoenix Motorcycle Training is an approved training body and helps their franchise owners through the entire process of getting set up and running motorbike lessons, booking CBT bike tests and all the other tasks that come with running your own motorcycle training business.
When investigating franchises, figure out if your personality traits are best suited to being a successful small business owner or if accepting the support and rules that come with owning a franchise is more your style. Finances will also be a factor – opening a franchise is often requires less capital and needs a fixed amount for start-up that you can work to. Going it alone can end up costing way more before you break into profit.
Shop around and look into the facts and figures of the motorcycle training schools you’re interested in. Once you’ve narrowed it down to one or two franchise opportunities, interview the franchise seller like it matters. Go through the terms of the agreement with a fine-tooth comb and ask any questions you need to, so you can make a decision that’s right for you. No question is ‘stupid’, but not asking questions could land you with a deal that doesn’t meet your expectations and leaves you unhappy. That’s no good for you or the franchise seller.
The pros of being a franchise in the UK
When you open a franchise there are some undeniable advantages over buying a standard UK business for sale or starting one from base zero. You’ll begin trading on the reputation of the brand name you’ve bought into. This gives your new business instant credibility and recognition – in the case of Phoenix franchises that credibility is with customers and the DVSA. In the world of motorbike lessons, UK motorcycle licences and CBT bike tests, that’s a huge boost. The business network also does some marketing that you’ll benefit from; manning stalls at shows like motorcycle live to get the word out about your courses and getting into motorcycle news on your behalf too. Customers feel like they already know who they are dealing with and you’ll be able to take advantage of the track record created by the franchise owners who went before you.
You’ll still be your own boss and the master of your days, but you’ll have the support of an interested business network behind you. This network is able to support you in your early days as a franchise holder and you’ll be able to tap into their experience when situations you hadn’t expected or planned for pop up. Chances are someone in your network will have come across the same thing before and have the answer. So ask questions and lean on the group – that’s what they are there for.
Franchisees are given a clear map that’s already been explored – that means you’ll have systems in place, marketing help on hand and instant exposure to a wide customer base. With Phoenix, you’ll have a group of preferred suppliers that you can leverage discounts from thanks to the group of business owners that are behind you. Phoenix has a 95% success rate with their franchisees too, just one franchise has been lost from their network in the past five years.
The cons of franchise ownership
For one side of a coin, there’s has to be another. There are few downsides to being a franchise owner, but it is worth noting them. It’s no good going into a franchise agreement if you are determined to do things your way. Franchise agreements come with terms and conditions that require you to run your business in a way that has proven success. Different franchises have different levels of autonomy that they give their franchisees. Phoenix offers potential franchisees three levels of support and freedom, making it easier for someone who wants to run their own motorcycle training school to set up and choose what’s right for their business vision.
Being a franchise owner isn’t a case of sitting back and leaving the work to the franchisor or the rest of the network. You’re the boss of your days but what you put into your business is what you’ll get out. That means working hard to gain success and growing your area’s reputation.
Franchises aren’t a free ride, and they’re not free to set up and run either. You’ll need to buy into the franchise and then commit to a regular fee, usually paid yearly. Depending on who you choose to buy a franchise from, this could be a per cent of your profits or a flat yearly fee.
For first-time business owners, franchises can be a way to build confidence in their skills. If you’re interested in owning a franchise, get in touch today.