Buying a Franchise? Consider lifestyle.

Debbie Pham, CEO, Kids Korner

This article appears in the January/February 2014 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand


If I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “Which franchise should I buy?” I would be very rich indeed. If I had another dollar for every time I was asked “Which franchise would make me the most money?” Well let’s just say I would have retired long ago.

The truth is there are so many franchise options available that I couldn’t even name them in this article. There are big brand franchises. There are small brand franchises. There are franchises best suited to cities. There are franchises best suited to the country. Some are retail. Some are in consulting. Some are business-to-business and some are business-to-consumer.

The best franchise for anyone to buy is the franchise that suits their lifestyle – or the one they want to have. With no two people and no two lifestyles the same, it is fair to say different franchises suit different people.

If you are really serious about buying a franchise, stop asking the question “which franchise should I buy?” and start considering “What is the best franchise for me?”

Only then will you find your perfect franchise.

Below are some of the factors you should consider when working out the best franchise choice for you:

What do I want to do?

If you could do anything what would it be? Owning a franchise takes a lot of work and dedication so you may as well buy something in an area you enjoy working in or are passionate about. Your love of caring for children, nutrition, real estate or the
great outdoors might be the key to choosing your next franchise. Remember, most franchisors will provide training to new franchisees so don’t let a lack of experience put you off your dream job.

Where do I want to do it?

Make sure you give some serious thought about where you want to work as this could affect the franchise you buy. If it has always been your dream to work close to home, then you need to consider a franchise that meets the needs of your local area.
You may need to think outside the square a little to find something that suits the local market, but it will be worthwhile once you have halved your commuting time.

What hours do I want to keep?

The hours you want to work are a huge consideration when determining your ideal franchise. One of the reasons I bought into childcare was the hours are much more family friendly than those of retail. As a mother, it was important I had weekends and public holidays off and I didn’t want crazy busy periods around Easter, Mothers’ Day and Christmas either. While this won’t matter to some, it was something important to me. Identify the hours you want to work and always consider them when choosing a franchise.

How important is a steady income?

You should also identify how important a steady income is to you. Some sectors are more influenced by economic changes such as interest rate rises, the strength of the Australian dollar and changes to CPI, than others. These changes could mean serious variations in your monthly income. Make sure you know and understand the effects of economic changes on your particular franchise sector.

How much money do I want to earn?

When thinking about how much money you want to earn, weigh the benefits you want from your franchise against your projected income. It might turn out that you are prepared to earn less money in exchange for working close to home and having
weekends off. Income v lifestyle is a very personal decision and one you cannot take lightly.

Do I like working with other people?

Think about the environment you prefer to work in. Do you like to work alone or would you rather be surrounded by a team of people? Do you love the face-to-face contact you get with retail customers or do you prefer working with children? The
arrival of the online business means you can even choose to work solo, from home, if you want. Identify the type of people you like to work with and keep referring to that when making your franchise choice.

What are my strengths and weaknesses?

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and weigh them against the skills you will need for a particular franchise. Are you good at managing people? Can you handle stress? Do you like early mornings? Make sure the franchise you choose to buy plays to your strengths and not to your weaknesses.

How much money will I need?

Different franchises can vary in price considerably. Establish how much money you can afford to invest as this will determine the type of franchise you can buy. You will also need to look at the ease of securing finance to buy a particular franchise. Depending on the sector, you may find securing finance far more achievable in one sector than another.

How much help will I need?

As a potential franchisee, find out how much support you’ll receive to open and successfully run your own business. This will be especially important if you are buying into a new industry where you have little, or no, experience. Look for a franchisor with extensive experience in owning, building and operating successful businesses as their knowledge and real life experience in site selection, staffing, marketing and customer care will allow you the greatest chance of success.

Are there opportunities in my franchise sector?

As a potential franchisee, do your research around the opportunities that exist in that particular sector. I built my first childcare centre following a baby boom and in response to a chronic shortage of places and centres. Look for areas that present a
current – and future - growth market.

Accept that things change

As things change you may need to revisit the above checklist to make sure your franchise choice is still relevant to your lifestyle. I used to own a successful Australia Post outlet. However, after I had children, my situation changed and I eventually made the choice to move into childcare. If you accept that things will change in business, you will be more open to opportunities that present themselves later.

Franchise businesses are a proven safer business model that enjoy a 2-3 times greater chance of success than other small business start-ups. Apart from deciding what you want to do, when you will do it and where you will work, you will also receive other benefits that include being your own boss, increased flexibility and greater tax breaks

Buying a franchise is a long-term lifestyle choice that comes with huge opportunity and rewards – both financially and personally. However, deciding which franchise to buy will be one of the biggest decisions you will make. By recognising the lifestyle you have and the lifestyle you want, you should be able to get a much clearer understanding about which franchise is right for you.

Award-winning franchisor Debbie Pham created Kids Korner as a way to ensure state-of-the-art childcare centres for Western Sydney. Debbie is seeking potential franchisees to meet the ever growing demand for highest quality childcare in Australia.

The Kids Korner long day care franchise offers quality childcare with a focus on a balanced and educational curriculum. Our extensive experience and support network will help you grow and achieve in business.

For further information contact:

Phone: 1300 909 901