Photography franchise's offer snapshot to success!

This article has been provided by Andrew Coe, CEO & Founder of Barrett & Coe, a photography franchise.

"I have been a Franchisor for more than twenty years and have been operating my own businesses for more than fifty years. Therefore, I can draw on a lot of experience to make some observations on both franchising and setting up your own business.

There are good franchises and some not so good. Quite often a relatively new franchise will begin for all the wrong reasons:

  1. The owners think they have a good concept but have not really made it work themselves - they have not given enough thought to the resources required to give sufficient support to a new franchisee; their selection process is flawed.
  2. There are others with a strong proven track record where it is likely that really good profit can be made, but as in all start up situations you will need to work very, very hard indeed to achieve optimum returns. A franchise is NOT a license to print money. To succeed, any franchise needs capital, commitment, and an enormous amount of energy.

Running your own business is not everyone’s cup of tea. Can you read a set of accounts? If not, can you learn how to? Your local Chamber of Commerce will point you in the right direction to acquire many of the skills you will need.

I once sat at a board meeting discussing the previous months management figures (the company had a £7 million pound turnover) and realised that one of the other directors had his accounts upside down. He was very good at what he did but had no idea about the financials. Although holding down a directorship of a successful company, he could never have run his own business, as later proved to be the case when he went bankrupt.

Over the twenty years we have been franchising we have made mistakes and learnt from them. We work out a bespoke budget for each new franchisee, not a budget based on averages. We’ll take into account personality, skills, time that will be committed to the franchise, the area and many other aspects. Usually the budget is exceeded very early on.

We do make absolutely that there is business from Day 1. A full diary from the start will ensure the franchisees confidence builds quickly and highlights any weakness needing to be addressed early on.

Our opportunity attracts many whose hobby is photography, which they love. The first thing we need to explain is that less than 30% of their time will be taking photographs! It will be talking to clients, ordering products, marketing and administration.

And when, completely unsolicited, a new franchisee (formerly in the finance sector) writes on a Facebook page “It’s the best job in the world when clients love your work and buy it. Just finished the order for the lab and can’t wait to see it” you know you’ve got a good formula!"