For many people, running a business from home is the ultimate dream. No more commuting on those cold, dark mornings and no more tackling the tube, trains or traffic. You work for yourself, setting your own hours and being your own boss. It’s particularly suited to people who have a very good reason to be at home, which could include parents, people with mobility issues, retired people looking for a new challenge and more. So what home based franchises are available?
Plus, the scope for home-based franchise businesses is huge, covering many major sectors of the employment market. All you have to do is find the right one for you.
For some a work from home franchise may still involve some travelling to meet clients in their homes or offices, but many can be carried out over the phone and internet.
Types of work from home franchises
So what are the main categories or kinds of home-based franchises?
Repair or maintenance – This is a big area of home-based business. You and a team of employees carry out repairs and maintenance work at clients’ homes. Depending on how many staff you take on, it’s possible that you can work completely from home, managing the service over the phone. Either way, there is no need to rent commercial space and the costs of overheads are low.
Home-based maintenance businesses include window and glass replacement, general handyman tasks, painting and decorating, construction tasks and many more. Generally you will need between two and four employees.
Cleaning franchises – Another very popular franchise is to offer cleaning services. Like repair and construction, many of these can be managed entirely at home using the phone and internet, or you can get your hands dirty and clean yourself too.
There are many places that need regular cleaning services, from offices to schools to people’s homes. Some specialise in certain areas, such as healthcare or gyms. Cleaning franchises can have anything from a couple up to dozens of employees, depending on the levels of work required.
B2B services – This involves working with other businesses, often providing a professional service such as event management. This could include planning corporate conferences or parties or even just providing the furniture or facilities for these events. Other B2B franchises include shipping.
Hardware sales – Some franchises involve selling tools and hardware. You provide catalogues and take orders, while the shipping is carried out directly, so you don’t need to rent storage space.
PA services – This is a relatively new kind of home-based business that involves acting as a remote PA for one or more individuals or offices. You’ll need to rely on good organisational and people skills, but this is another role you can carry or and manage completely from the comfort of your own home.
Travel agencies – You could specialise in booking and planning holidays. This is another example of a business that you can do 100% from your home office. You’ll be acting as an intermediary between a company and client, so you may need to rely on sales skills.
There are plenty of other home-based franchise options available working in everything from food to fitness. It’s simply a question of finding something that suits your skills.
What are the benefits of running a home based franchise?
The obvious major advantage of a home-based franchise business is that you have greater flexibility over your own life. You don’t have to spend hours each week on the dreary commute and can pick and choose your working hours in many instances. You can also combine it with a home or family life more easily, so it’s perfect if you have young children or other commitments.
Many home based franchise businesses allow you to transfer skills from other areas, whether it’s working with people or communicating. And very often you won’t need to spend large sums on overheads such as storage space. In fact, if you have a phone and internet connection, sometimes that’s all the hardware you’ll need.
Why choose a home based franchise over your own business?
But surely anyone can set up their own business without buying into a franchise? This is true. If you have a phone and web connection there are possibilities for success. But when you buy into a franchise, you are getting a business model that has been proven to work. Not only that, you are getting access to knowledge and training, as well as guaranteed customers.
Starting from scratch there is no reason you can’t be successful, but be prepared to put the hard yards in for the first year just trying to get clients and building a reputation. With a franchise you have cash coming in from day one. Plus you get all the branding, support and expertise as part of the package. For small businesses this can be invaluable.
Choosing the right business
Think about what interests you and try to find something suitable. If you are passionate about your business it is easier to make it successful.
It’s well worth doing your research and investigating the competition and other franchise owners in the area to see how they have found their experiences. And ask to see some figures from the franchisor about what kind of turnover you can expect.
It’s also worth weighing up the cost of each investment and finding a franchise that works within your budget. This should be a key consideration of the financial viability of the project.
You need to carry out due diligence on any transaction and make sure that everything is in order in a legal sense before signing on the dotted line. But if it all comes back ok, there’s nothing standing in the way of you and your very own home business.
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