There are a number of business coaching franchise models on the market and this section is a "must read" if you are considering buying one.
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to buy a business coaching franchise so use the links below to help you understand. Some people also invest considerable money only to find that they do not get what they are looking for, so check out the link on why it might not be for you.
Most of the franchises on the market are geared towards business coaching and sports coaching however the questions you might have about buying a franchise will probably be the same no matter what type of franchise you are looking at.
If you are already a coach or considering becoming a coaching professional you may also consider whether to buy a business coaching franchise, after all there are a number on the market.
But what are the advantages in investing your money in a franchise when you could potentially set up on your own at a fraction of the cost?
I am a business coach and I also once bought a franchise, (not a coaching one but a business networking franchise) so I have my own thoughts about what a coaching franchise might offer you. But I have also carried out some research and below you will find some key reasons why you may be attracted to such a proposition.
One thing most franchises offer is a set approach and methodology for carry out your business. If you are just starting out as a coach and haven’t run your own business before you may be attracted by having a tried and tested framework in place.
Alongside a tried and tested approach you might also get a set of tools that you can use to help your clients – exercises, models, support material
Some business coaching franchises such as Action COACH are very well established in the market place and are now recognised as an established brand which potentially could help you to attract customers.
As a franchisee you may also be offered mentoring and support to help you run, market and grow your business, which can be really appealing if you are new to business but also if you find it challenging to work on your own.
If you have been running a coaching business and struggled to get the business you had hoped then you may be attracted to the promises of a sustainable and profitable business offered when you buy a business coaching franchise.
Buying a franchise may directly supply you with leads or connect you to a network which facilitates referral generation and ultimately help you get more business
One benefit that appeals to some franchisees is the opportunity to be part of a larger support network…not only having support from the franchising organization but also from fellow franchisees who may be prepared to offer support, help and advice particularly if they are not competing with you for business.
Particularly for those who are new to business, buying into a tried and tested way of carrying out a coaching business can provide you with the necessary confidence to start a coaching career.
In my research one franchisee had spent years founding, developing and selling companies all he now wanted to do was have a business where all he had to do was focus on coaching, training and facilitation which is what he felt he could do with the franchise he bought.
Buying a business coaching franchise is a big decision and so one to be considered carefully You may have already started to look at what is on the market and may be attracted by a number of benefits on offer however before you jump in and invest your money take time to consider these counter-arguments which might influence your thinking.
Some franchises may require you to follow a set approach when dealing
with your clients. Most coaches I know like to be flexible and tailor
their approach to the needs of each client. You may not be afforded this
flexibility operating under the franchise so check out what approaches
you will be required to take and understand to what extent your own
style, ethos and approach will be compromised should you sign up.
Often a very heavy investment in money is required so you need to be
sure that you really will see a return on this investment. If you are
prepared to spend such sums think how else you could use this money to
promote your own business.
Some coaching franchises are what I would describe as business
consultancy and advice services. Whatever your definition of coaching is
understand what services you want to provide and check that the
franchise fits with this.
In my research I noticed that one franchises states
clearly they are about ‘business coaching’ and not ‘life-coaching’.
Personally I believe that one’s personal life impacts upon their
business life and vice versa so personally would really struggle to
operate within a framework that focused only on business development and
not on that person as an individual.
Rigid and set approach
Is it really coaching?
Some franchises may require you to follow a set approach when dealing with your clients. Most coaches I know like to be flexible and tailor their approach to the needs of each client. You may not be afforded this flexibility operating under the franchise so check out what approaches you will be required to take and understand to what extent your own style, ethos and approach will be compromised should you sign up.
Often a very heavy investment in money is required so you need to be sure that you really will see a return on this investment. If you are prepared to spend such sums think how else you could use this money to promote your own business.
Some coaching franchises are what I would describe as business consultancy and advice services. Whatever your definition of coaching is understand what services you want to provide and check that the franchise fits with this.
In my research I noticed that one franchises states clearly they are about ‘business coaching’ and not ‘life-coaching’. Personally I believe that one’s personal life impacts upon their business life and vice versa so personally would really struggle to operate within a framework that focused only on business development and not on that person as an individual.
Undoubtedly your success as a coach will be dependent ultimately on you and your ability to connect with those you coach. If you do a great job then you will get referrals. Some might argue that buying into a brand achieves little, so in your research check out the real value of the ‘badge’.
You may be governed by set pricing structures which further restrict your flexibility as a coach.
If one reason for buying a franchise is to get increased leads and business direct from the franchising organisation then firstly check out whether in practice this happens in reality. I have heard of many franchises (not necessarily coaching ones) who lure new franchises by the promise of leads and referrals only to find they never materialize. If leads and referrals are what you are looking for you may find coaching associations are more effective at provide this or your own independent marketing efforts.
Whether you are already a coach or thinking about a coaching career here are some tips for buying a coaching franchise. Perhaps you see it as an opportunity to buy a ready made brand and or are attracted by the security of a tried and tested formula that a franchise offers or maybe you want to feel part of a larger organization with a support network already in place.
Whatever your motivation, buying a
coaching franchise could be a great opportunity for you but as with the
purchase of any business you really do need to do your research so you
don’t part with your hard earned money only to find it doesn’t bring you
the life you were looking for. Here are a few points that you must
consider before you go any further.
If you are already a coach you will have started to define who you are as a coach and how you operate. There will be certain things important to you as a coach, which you are not prepared to compromise on, keep these firmly in mind. As a franchisee you may be required to operate in a particular way which may not be in line with your own values or preferred way of working.
Also be clear on what you want from a business – how much profit are you seeking and how much time are you prepared to devote to it? You may prefer to have a ‘lifestyle’ business which also allows you to spend time on other things that are important to you. You may find that you have to reach minimum targets for business growth as part of your franchise agreement and so spend more hours than you wish on your business.
You may think that a buying a coaching franchise in your area fulfills a need you have identified but there are two sides to this. It’s not just about the market demand, you also need to think about how well that demand is already satisfied by your competition.
Do your research thoroughly to see what services other coaches have to offer and how the various coaching franchises offer a service that beats the competition.
Some coaching franchises cost a lot of money, both in terms of up front fees and ongoing costs. So you really do need to establish what you are getting for your money and ask yourself how else you can achieve the same result but by spending your money elsewhere – if you like the idea of buying a coaching franchise to secure an established brand and on-going marketing support perhaps you could consider external marketing specialists who could help you with developing your own marketing strategies?
You may be paying for various tools and resources but the question you should ask yourself is, “are these necessary and appropriate for my service as a coach to my clients?”
When buying any new business you need to familiarize yourself with your market, your customers, your products or services, tools at your disposal and use of any information management systems. And if you are new to business you might require help in developing your business skills too. When buying a coaching franchise establish what training is provided and when, and what further costs will be incurred.
I have heard so many horror stories about franchise purchases (in general) which have turned sour. Establish what the franchise requires from you whether it is a particular method of operating or expected revenue target and determine whether this is realistic. Are you expected to devote your time solely to the franchise and put any other business interests aside?
If you find you want to sell your franchise what are the get out clauses? Inspect any contracts carefully and always use a specialist franchise lawyer who can interpret the small print. Franchise contracts are usually weighted in favor of the franchiser so someone who is an expert in this can more objectively give their opinion.
When buying any franchise consider also the values of the franchiser and the franchising organization. Ask yourself whether they are aligned with your own.
If the way you are required to operate through its systems and approach means that your own personal values are compromised then this franchise is not for you. However if they are aligned then you will potentially have a tremendous source of inspiration and support as you develop your business.
To help you make a decision always insist on speaking to several franchisees who can share their experiences with you. Establish their level of satisfaction, whether their expectations have been met and what hidden costs have been revealed following purchase.