Buying a greenfield franchise is, perhaps, a bit more of a leap of faith than buying a re-sale. Of course all the advantages of franchising still apply. These include: a successful business model, full business support and back-up from the franchisor as well as strong business branding.
The big difference is that you’re building a business from scratch. Of course, your franchisor will have done research to ensure that the postcode area is viable. However, since there's no past performance to go on, a greenfield site means your assessment of the local business potential has to be based on local analysis and comparison with other similar territories. Driver Hire franchisee, Adrian Underwood, certainly hasn’t found this to be a barrier. In fact, working alongside his wife Kate, they’re busy proving that a greenfield can be gold.
Adrian bought Driver Hire’s Walsall territory in the New Year and he first opened the doors for business in February. Before going down the franchise route, Adrian was a project manager and Kate had worked in the office at a local school. Neither had any experience of recruitment or the transport and logistics industry.
And they’ve got away to a great start. Just over six months down the road, from a standing start, they are now turning over an average of £4,000 a week and, at their current rate of growth, will easily pass the £100,000 turnover mark before the end of their financial year.
“When working on our business plan, I calculated our breakeven in shifts per week rather than turnover,” says Adrian. “We need to do 35 and are currently doing 50.”
Adrian does have some key advice for would be franchisees. “You’ve got to look at a franchise as a long-term investment. What it isn’t is a quick fix – a way of buying yourself a job. And don’t forget that, along with the purchase price, you need working capital as clients don’t always pay straight away!
“We certainly couldn’t have achieved what we’ve achieved without the support of our franchisor. Knowing that there’s always somebody you can call for help gives you security. Whilst you will get plenty of ‘hand holding’ in the early days of your new business, franchising is like any other commercial enterprise; to be successful you’ve got to be prepared to do it yourself and put the hours in. Both Kate and I are loving it,” Adrian concludes.