Franchisee Growth & Success

Andy from Lockforce Croydon popped into HQ today for a catch up.

It was a little impromptu and it was great to see him.

Secretly I think he was missing us . Either that or it was the promise from Tom that he would buy him a sandwich. (mind you a long drive for a free sandwich)

He had had one of those ‘mornings’ but still had a big smile on his face & a spring in his step.

We hadn’t seen Andy face to face for quite a few months so it was great to chat over a sandwich.  We saw his new tattoos, chatted about his partners upcoming birthday & took the opportunity to find out how his first year in Lockforce has been.

Andy joined Lockforce last year and to be honest he had managed to get a better insight into Lockforce than most people.

You see Andy was the National Account Manager for one of our major suppliers. Working as a supplier he built a great working relationship with the Lockforce network and soon realised that life as a franchisee presented a greater life than his current role. To be fair not many get such a chance to get such an insight but it didn’t make the decision any easier. After all he had a steady job, a partner and a little “mini me” (his 6 year old son) to consider and was it worth taking the chance?

He loved what Lockforce represented as a brand and when he took the time to explain everything to his partner and to get her to meet the team, the decision was a lot easier as she was right behind him.

Roll on just over a year and in his own words “I am doing great’………

  • he has exceeded Business Plan (by some margin)
  • paid some loans off
  • & saved some money (for his partners special birthday treat), ssshhhh. 

He loves what he does now, he is in charge of his own destiny. Even taking time to come into the office and chat to the support team. Not sure why but he enjoys the banter!!

He talked about enjoying the flexibility being your own Boss gives you and also how he thrives on getting customer reviews. 

He is one of our top most reviewed locksmiths…and he takes great pride in this.  He loves a bit of healthy competition in getting the most and the best reviews.

And whilst he’d had one of those mornings he was able to put it down to the roller coaster ride of running your own business, to put it behind him and wanted to discuss ways he could expand his business and get more leads.

Andy has set himself some aggressive targets for his second year but the sky’s the limit when you are part of the Lockforce team.

Banks Support Financing A Lockforce Franchise

We received some very welcome news last week that the banks we work with are starting to lend again. 

We have already had a successful application and with our tried and tested Business model and our relationship with our lenders, the process is smooth and straightforward. 

Typically the banks will lend 70% of overall investment.  Great news if you are looking to top up borrowing requirement with the ability to pay back over 5 years.

Lockdown and Beyond

We are some of the lucky ones…!!!

As we enter into September we are now a few months out of the national lockdown and the business is pretty good, albeit that we have an eye over our shoulder so that we are well placed as this pandemic plays out over the coming months.

Right back at the start of the lockdown we definitely felt the crunch as people came to terms with the threat of the virus, however it has been extremely interesting to see how our network have dealt with such unprecedented times.

There were definitely some big concerns from the outset with people worrying about the “what ifs” but as we look back we are definitely in an industry that can manage and survive through such adverse conditions.  Since the end of April our sales have gradually returned and the summer months of June through to August saw the network post record sales. We are 40% on last year and we remain positive and optimistic that we will continue to see demand. People want to be Safe in their home or premises all year irrespective of what is happening in the world.

Some of the year on year increase was due to the growth in the network but that accounts for only half of the growth. There could be a number of factors to this success and while some of it may be circumstance I do attribute much to the strength and resilience of our franchisees.

During lockdown we put together over 30 video webinars to help franchisees look at new or better ways to market their busines and ways that they could improve their business.

Most important we focussed on staying positive and optimistic and did not let the comments on social media and others get us down.

In business you will always face ups and downs and for us it is the way that you deal with it that counts. It is about attitude, persistence and positivity that helps us prevail when others falter.

The Value of Training in a Franchise

Has lockdown made you reconsider your life…? Could a franchise help you realise your dream of owning your own business.

Are you considering franchising as a way to start your own business…..

….. of realising the dream of handing in your notice….?

….. or, getting back up and running after being lay off, to show people what you can do….?

…….then you must understand the costs involved, BUT more importantly why you  would invest in a franchise.

The basic upfront cost of any franchise is only part of the overall financial obligations and commitments if you join a franchise, and a small part of the overall package, YET it is one of the biggest deciding factors for many.

You see, most of us understand the value of money because we can all see the figures. For example £10,000 of cash = £10,000 in value (nothing more, nothing less).

Now for your £10,000 could be a life’s savings and for another it could be a months salary so I do understand that money has a relative value to each of us.

But why does EVERYONE focus on the cost of the Franchise ahead of anything else…?

As I say, the initial Franchise Fee is only part of getting into a franchise and there are so many aspects that should be considered.

You are not simply a product from Amazon or Ebay.

Please do read my other blogs in the series Financing a Franchise and Is Now a Good Time to Start a Business?.

And, the one aspect that is not fully understood is the knowledge that is imparted during the training and beyond.  It is this knowledge and know-how that you are investing in so that your business gets a head start.

I mean, how do you value the ability to be set up, trained and trading within 3 weeks of starting your own business….? How much is that worth…?

How do our value the sharing of knowledge and capability that will mean more leads and more business from the start…?

How do you value the 25 videos recorded during Lockdown that could in themselves provide you knowledge to pay your franchise fee back multiple times if you follow the actions and activity shared…?

How do you value not making the same mistakes as others that can cost you £000s…? That said even as a franchisee you will make mistakes. No matter what we teach people do have a habit of burning their fingers in the fire, despite the nurturing warnings of “don’t play with the matches”….

How do you value the combined business experience of the network of other franchisees that runs into hundreds of years……?

You cannot buy this stuff on Amazon!!!

Last year we were chatting to a prospect about joining as the franchisee despite the fact that he had already built his own business without a franchise. He was now looking to expand his current operation into new geographic areas and wanted to buy into the franchise. When I asked “why do you want to join a franchise if you already have a successful business…?”. His answers was “because it will save me a lot of money…..”.

His assessment was that the time to build a presence, reputation etc… in a new area would end up costing him more money than buying into a brand and getting a warm start.

He knew he wouldn’t need to spend so much on marketing, he knew we would take care of stuff behind the scenes and he knew we would be earning quicker as part of the franchise. Less outgoings and money coming in quicker….. win / win.

OBS – For the sake of clarity the person did not join the franchise as we felt there would be a conflict of interest with the persons current operation being in the territory of a current franchisee. Nevertheless I think it highlights the point.

And while we talk about all the value passed onto you in training and throughout the franchise you should not forget that the purchase of a franchise is an “investment” that can be sold to another person.

For example our franchise currently sells for £16,500 plus VAT. Of this we put an estimated price on training and onboarding at £6,500 plus VAT and £10,000 plus VAT on the franchise ownership (the territory). Essentially the training is a one off cost whereas the £10,000 asset that can increase in value as you grow the income and profit within the franchised area.

So if you are thinking of starting your own business then franchising could be just what you need and while you will need to invest in the right franchise, it is likely to pay back quicker than you think.

For more information and advice give us a call.

Is Now A Good Time To Start A New Business?

Has lockdown made you reconsider your life…? Could a franchise help you realise your dream of owning your own business.

We have seen quite a lot of people make enquiries into our Lockforce franchise during the lockdown period.

It would appear that the pandemic and the lockdown has given them the time to rethink their life.

Some have decided it might be time to leave the job they hate, some fear that they will lose their job as the economy slows and others have been mulling things over for some time now.

And one of the questions they ask “is it a good time to start a (my own) business…?”.

In fact some actually make it a negative statement which isn’t the best start…. “I don’t think it is a good time to start a business, what with the pandemic..?”

I can assume they make the statement in the hope that I may convince them differently, or not…!!

From our perspective It is not our job to convince anyone to join our franchise, or any franchise.

Our job is to explore what the prospect is looking for, what their personal circumstances are, if they would enjoy being part of the franchise, if they would represent the brand well etc… and then together agree if it could be the right thing for that person.

It is not as simple as paying your money and get on with it. (and when it comes to money check out my blog on the 23rd May 2020)

You can rest assured that we have a process – that ensures we all ask the right questions – before we take any final decision on joining. Ultimately you will need to decide this is the right thing for you and we have to feel that you will represent the brand and ultimately be successful. There are no guarantees but make sure you understand the good, the bad and the ugly before you join.

Back to the question…. Is it a good time to change your life and start a business…?

So where do I start..?                                                                                                             

I have reflected for a while and my answer(s) to the question hasn’t really changed since before the pandemic and lockdown.

I could talk about many aspects which you might expect…

  • the impact of the current pandemic, as if anyone really knows?
  • the economy and will it recover?
  • will there be enough work for me?  

However, over the years since I left paid employment, I have learnt that success in business is 90% about you and 10% is the outside world.

This might not makes sense but if you consider that the outside world influences are the same for everyone (and largely out of our control), therefore the most significant difference in the success of your business is you, and the guidance that you act on.

Running your own business is all about your ATTITUDE. In the words of Henry Ford…”if you think you can or you think you can’t, then you are probably right.”

Therefore if you find something that you want to do (and really see yourself doing it) then we will help you through the process.

Our locksmith skills and services are still in demand – Lock’s still break, people lose keys etc… At the start of the lockdown we saw business drop by just over 50% as people weren’t going out, businesses were closed and there were concerns of people coming into the home. 2 weeks after lockdown we have recovered to nearly 80% of previous levels and steadily improving.

So, is it a good time to start a business…?

Others have done it, and signing up right now, so why not you..?

Financing Your Franchise

Andy from Lockforce Croydon popped into HQ today for a catch up.

It was a little impromptu and it was great to see him.

Secretly I think he was missing us .

Either that or it was the promise from Tom that he would buy him a sandwich. (mind you a long drive for a free sandwich)

He had had one of those ‘mornings’ but still had a big smile on his face & a spring in his step.

We hadn’t seen Andy face to face for quite a few months so it was great to chat over a sandwich.  We saw his new tattoos, chatted about his partners upcoming birthday & took the opportunity to find out how his first year in Lockforce has been.

Andy joined Lockforce last year and to be honest he had managed to get a better insight into Lockforce than most people.

You see Andy was the National Account Manager for one of our major suppliers. Working as a supplier he built a great working relationship with the Lockforce network and soon realised that life as a franchisee presented a greater life than his current role. To be fair not many get such a chance to get such an insight but it didn’t make the decision any easier. After all he had a steady job, a partner and a little “mini me” (his 6 year old son) to consider and was it worth taking the chance?

He loved what Lockforce represented as a brand and when he took the time to explain everything to his partner and to get her to meet the team, the decision was a lot easier as she was right behind him.

Roll on just over a year and in his own words “I am doing great’………

  • he has exceeded Business Plan (by some margin)
  • paid some loans off
  • & saved some money (for his partners special birthday treat), ssshhhh. 

He loves what he does now, he is in charge of his own destiny. Even taking time to come into the office and chat to the support team. Not sure why but he enjoys the banter!!

He talked about enjoying the flexibility being your own Boss gives you and also how he thrives on getting customer reviews. 

He is one of our top most reviewed locksmiths…and he takes great pride in this.  He loves a bit of healthy competition in getting the most and the best reviews.

And whilst he’d had one of those mornings he was able to put it down to the roller coaster ride of running your own business, to put it behind him and wanted to discuss ways he could expand his business and get more leads.

Andy has set himself some aggressive targets for his second year but the sky’s the limit when you are part of the Lockforce team.