Self-employment and its rapid growth in recent years, call us to consider the consequences of so-called “freedom” that came to now almost 5 million in the UK, as per Office of National Statistics.  This is a particularly important subject for discussion today, on the World/MentalHealthDay.

Running a business can be rewarding, but it is extremely hard, often lonely and challenging. A clear plan and funds to invest don’t always suffice.  And if the success underpins your self-esteem, it is not hard to imagine how quickly things can go bad.

Today, self-employed need to be recognized as doing a great job and also encouraged to look after themselves and their mental health. One of the ways to help them is to stress on keeping the healthy work balance and on staying active and in touch with the fellow self-employed business owners. Thanks to social media, this is now easy. Digital developments enable us to stay connected, take part in webinars, conferences, training or converse on Skype.

And, as great as they all are, it may be worth to consider also a different approach to self-employment altogether.  Franchising is one of those. It is said to be a smarter path to Self-employment. It is a good choice for those who want to run a business and do not know where to start. Training, support and investment into an existing and recognized brand will build a structure into a new business cutting through difficulties of finding customers and suppliers. It will alleviate the loneliness of first years’ struggle so typical to self-employment. 

So, if you going self-employed, and you are looking for your business to take off from day one and you have some cash to flash, here are the options to consider

1) Job or operator franchise –  usually run from home,  to keep overheads low. The franchisee is the key driver of the business although as the business grows it may be possible to take on staff and step back a bit from the day to day running of it. There is a wide range of opportunities in this lower-cost bracket, including children’s activities, window cleaning, van-based sales and deliveries.

2)Management franchise -  The franchisee manages the business operations, typically with employees carrying out the work involved.  This will typically be in the business to business sectors. Often are sought managerial and leadership skill for this type of it will be required to work with a higher level of capital. Typical franchises in this category are in the care sector, expense reduction franchises, commercial cleaning, or franchises where you will be required to manage a team of people delivering services.

3)Retail and fast-food franchises take typically the highest level of investment, as the premises to run the business will be required as well as running multiple outlets. 

4)Investment franchise -  needs a significant amount of financial investment and the franchisee will not be expected to work typically on a day to day basis. Examples may be here large hotel chains, where the franchisee is a corporate investor who already has an executive team in place to take on business operations.

Although it appears that franchise should reduce risks of “doing it alone” to succeed, it requires a full commitment of time and money.  Therefore, it is best to choose from the start the line of business that you enjoy and see yourself doing in the long run.  So, like with everything, you have got to do your own research before embarking into a new adventure.

Read more - When going self-employed - Your Tax Assistant

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Self-employment? -What options are there?