From catering to printing with Prontaprint franchise
My degree in Hotel and Catering Management led me to work in the Food and Hospitality industry, in various sales and management roles.
As many members of my family are self-employed, I had also always wanted to do my own thing. Due to my background I was pulled towards the restaurant trade but after consideration I felt it would be a risky move as it was very easy to get it wrong.
Choosing the Right Franchise
I had always known about franchising from university, but whilst working for a coffee company I learnt more about it from the franchisor side, and from then on it just seemed the most sensible way of going into business for yourself.
Initially I obviously looked at the food industry. The only restaurants however that were franchises tended to be fast food, which wasn't the type of restaurant I was interested in having. I then did further research, using whichfranchise.com, into business-to-business management franchises. As I knew of several people who had become successful in the printing industry I began to focus my research in this area.
The more research I undertook, the more I realised that printing was the ideal industry for me, especially as customer service, which I had always been involved in, was a key aspect of it. I looked at the various printing franchises and soon whittled it down to a couple I was interested in.
The most important part of my research was meeting and speaking with other franchisees. I met so many franchisees that they thought I was a spy from a rival franchise!
I decided on Prontaprint as the right opportunity was available for the right price. I also felt it was the strongest of the brands I had looked at.
I undertook 6 weeks training, and though it was very comprehensive, it still only scratched the surface of what would be involved. I opened my Prontaprint franchise in Greenock in November 2001.
Benefits of Franchising
For me the main benefits of franchising are that you always have other people to speak to and you are "not reinventing the wheel". Though the buck stops with you, there are always others willing to help.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Franchising is not easy and it is definitely not a way to get rich quick. It's the hardest thing you would ever have to do, and so you need to ask yourself the question "could you stick at it?"