Would you like to be your own boss, but don’t want the gamble of starting a brand-new concept? Do you need more flexibility in your work life, but still want to smash goals and feel fulfilled? Do you want to be your own boss, but recognise that you’d benefit from the support of an established head-office company and a team of like-minded franchise owners. Then perhaps franchising could be for you!
Franchising gives you the advantage of buying a tried and tested business model, with trade names/trademarks that are already known and established. The support and knowledge of the franchisor (the person who created the business) will be yours to utilise, and since the business is their “baby”, they will know the business inside out and answer all of your questions while skilling you up to be successful too.
You can set your own hours (depending on the business and what is needed to run it) and work around the demands of your family and home life. This is a huge plus with the Mumbler franchise, as all of our current franchisees have young children. They make Mumbler work as a flexible and family-friendly franchise.
Of course, there are costs to set up any franchise. There is an upfront franchise fee and usually some kind of monthly payment to the franchisor. This can vary greatly from franchise to franchise. Buying a franchise definitely carries risks, as does setting up any business. You should be prepared to do your research and put together a business case for your chosen area. You need to be confident that there is demand for whatever your chosen franchise is offering and that you will (realistically) have the time to devote to making it a success!
When you buy a franchise, you get a license to replicate someone else’s proven-to-be-profitable business model. You will have to pay an upfront franchisee fee and probably agreed-upon monthly costs to the franchisor. These might be a fixed monthly amount, or a percentage of your turnover- all franchise models differ so do your research!
Usually, you will be assigned a specific geographical area – this should eliminate competition from other franchisees, and give you clear guidelines of where to market and which clients could be yours.
What will I get for my money?
As well as the license to run the business – and a geographical area in which to operate it – you will get a wealth of information and knowledge from the franchisor. In short, the franchisor should teach you everything you need to run the business successfully. This includes initial training, and a Franchisee Operations Manual, to help you operate the business properly.
The franchisor will offer ongoing training, and the existing franchisees are often an invaluable resource and help as well. For example, Mumbler franchisees’ backgrounds including sales, marketing, teaching, journalism and copyright law. Someone is always on hand to help out, and extremely generous with their time and skills. You will also get branded marketing material to help you promote your business successfully.
What will be expected of me?
You will need the funds to pay for the franchising fees. It might be worth talking to a bank, to see which loans might be on offer. Once you start running your franchise, the franchisor will want you to keep them up-to-date with how your business is going, and might ask you to meet minimum performance clauses. Although you will be running your own business, the business model will still belong to the franchisor and they will have rules and systems that they expect you to follow. This will be to ensure the branding and service levels are consistent. Your Franchisor knows what works for the company and so by following their guidance, you stand the best chance of success.
How do I know if a franchise is right for me?
The person who knows most about a franchise is the franchisor. They started this business, and have all the knowledge to answer your burning questions, as well as the passion and background to tell you why it works for them.
Ask them about fees; how much and will they be ongoing? Will there be things you have to buy from the franchisor, or will you be free to source products yourself? Will you have to meet minimum performance targets? What happens if you don’t meet them? How much support is available from both the franchisor and existing franchisees? What marketing material will you get? How much are the overheads? You should also ask about the failure rate, and what went wrong with those businesses?
Then, and perhaps most importantly, you should talk to as many existing franchisees as you can; in person, online or on the phone. Ask them how long they have been running, how things are going, are their financial achievements in line with what the franchisor projects for you? Are they happy? Would they recommend buying the franchise? What would they do differently?
If you get to the stage of exchanging documents, get them checked out by a solicitor to make sure you are happy, and that your commitments are realistic. If you choose to buy a franchise, you will be signing a legal document and it will form a binding contract for a set number of years. Never sign it until you are absolutely happy with the commitment and have taken proper legal advice from an independent solicitor.
What should I do next?
If you think franchising could be for you, have a look at the options on offer. Think about the lifestyle you have, and the lifestyle you want. Do you want to choose your own hours? Do you want to work from home or to have premises? Would you like to have fixed core hours, or be able to catch up on an evening? Do you have a particular passion? Or a great set of skills to channel into something specific? How much do you want to earn? Are your earning expectations realistic compared to the amount of time & effort you are prepared to put in?
You can find opportunities online, in magazines or from talking to friends – maybe someone knows of a business that would be perfect for you! If something piques your interest, contact the franchisor, and set the ball rolling.
If you want to go ahead – after talking to all concerned and doing due diligence – talk to the bank about financing, and make a business plan.
Owning a franchising can be incredibly rewarding and can restore the balance between home life and a fulfilling career.
Here at Mumbler, we hope you find the perfect franchise opportunity for you. And if you would like to learn more about becoming a part of the Mumbler family, you can download our Join the Mumbler Franchise prospectus here.
Emily Pickard, York Mumbler Franchise Owner
I am Emily and I run York Mumbler.
I previously worked in Brand Marketing – having had a 15 year career working on big brands like Anchor & McCain.
Although I loved my job and was fortunate to work for great companies, everything changed after having children and my priorities were just so different. I didn’t want to leave the house as the kids got up (sometimes before) and get home late, have to work away from home sometimes or feel like I wasn’t doing my best.
Although I worked part time in the end, I found that I was compromising – on my job and also on my kids and home.
Taking the leap to run Mumbler full time was a big scary decision – I’m the main breadwinner in our house so I had to make it work. Seven years later and now I can honestly say it was the best decision of my life to make that leap.
The biggest thing it has brought me is freedom and flexibility. I do work really hard on Mumbler and probably as many hours (if not more) then I did before… but it doesn’t feel like work.
I can fit the work in around my family – for example, in the holidays I don’t work in the day but just catch up on the evenings. I absolutely love it and I’m offering such a valuable service to my community too. And when it comes to school runs, school holidays, kids being off ill and bedtimes, I now never miss a thing!
Anna Winter, North Leeds Mumbler Franchise Owner
I’m mum to two energetic children and also run North Leeds Mumbler. If that isn’t enough to keep me busy, I also help out on a voluntary basis at the children’s school!
Prior to starting North Leeds Mumbler, I was a Business Account Manager for more than 15 years in the FMCG industry. Up until having my second child I did this full time, dealing with supermarket buyers on a daily basis and travelling around the UK.
After having my second, I found that I was becoming compromised both at home and in the work environment and couldn’t give ‘my all’ to either. I loved my job, but I knew I would never get this time again with my children so I decided to take a career break.
Whilst I loved the increased time with the children when my eldest started school and youngest started pre-school, I wanted something to challenge myself and my brain again! Mumbler has done just that whilst allowing me the opportunity to still be there for the children.
I have the flexibility to work around the family, allowing me to attend school events, manage any sick days, be there to pick them up from school and be their taxi service for after school activities! We love experiencing new activities as a family and Mumbler has allowed that, most of the time the kids don’t realise mummy is working as they are also having so much fun!
Rachael Smith, Hull & The East Riding Mumbler Franchise Owner
After spending 13 years working in marketing (first at ReckittBenckiser then at McCain Foods), I had two children and decided to try working for myself and spend more time with my children.
Four years ago, whilst on maternity leave, I built the second Mumbler website, Hull & East Riding Mumbler, never returned to McCain and haven’t looked back.
I now employ another mum to help me run it and have made a full time living, all whilst working from home around the kids. Two years ago, I also launched a second business, The Marketing Lane, a freelance Marketing Consultancy.
The lifestyle I now have has enabled me to also slot in voluntary work and give back to my community. I Chair the Hull MVP (Maternity Voices in Partnership), a panel of Healthcare Professionals and local organisations all working together to improve services for women in Hull, from becoming pregnant to when their baby is one. I am a board member for the charity Viking FMs Cash for Kids and a Trustee for the charity Bundles of Joy.
I was even nominated and became a finalist for this year’s Women of Achievement Awards Hull & Humber.
SJ Barker, Franchise owner of Ryedale Mumbler and also Scarborough & Whitby Mumbler.
As well as being a mum to two children, I live with a menagerie of animals – including horses, Ryeland Sheep and Giant African Land Snails – and have lived rurally most of my life.
It’s always been second nature to jump in the car and travel, but now I know my local area inside out, I know it doesn’t have to be this way – there are so many amazing things for families on our doorstep!
Previously I was an insurance risk control surveyor but when my children were born (Henry, 6 and Eliza, 4), I wanted something more flexible to fit in with family life.
Running Mumbler has been a huge change, but I’ve always been able to and happy to adapt, and I love helping families to make life easier.
Ryedale Mumbler has gone from strength so strength so when the opportunity arose to take on Scarborough & Whitby Mumbler, it made perfect sense.
Running the two sites fits in wonderfully with family life, and I am enthusiastic about helping other parents, carers and visitors find those hidden gems!
Sarah Smith, Wharfedale & Craven Mumbler Franchise Owner
I gave up my Sales Manager Role with a Blue-Chip company when I had my son in 2011.
Six years out of the industry and a daughter later, my knowledge of that area was dated so it was either retrain or put my new “Mum” knowledge to good use.
That’s where Mumbler came in! Having used the Harrogate site, I knew this was a much-needed resource in Wharfedale.
Almost two years later, I have built a business I can be proud of.
It’s flexible so I can still do every school run, sports day and Christmas play! It’s hard work but you get out what you put in. It’s the best decision I made!
Caroline Brooks, Doncaster Mumbler Franchise Owner
I have a sales and marketing background and have over 15 years experience marketing everything from colour measurement equipment with X-Rite/Pantone to clothing at JD Williams, and Steel Rolling Mills with Siemens!
I left the “corporate” world of marketing in 2016 to join Twile, a business set up by my husband. I helped steer this company towards an acquisition by a large genealogy company, Findmypast.com.
Having had a taste of working from home around my family, I undertook some freelance work and spotted STAG Mumbler.
I noticed there wasn’t a Mumbler in my area and seeing the possibility to be creative and in control of my own destiny, I did some market research and took the leap, launching Doncaster Mumbler in September 2018.
Mumbler is a fantastic resource for parents. I have two children, aged seven and five and we have found so many amazing things to do in Doncaster. It is great to share this with everyone else!
We live in a great town and it is fantastic to help promote some brilliant activities for families, plus the kids love helping me out at events and being a part of it too.
I’ve had some lovely feedback from both parents and businesses. Being a mum is hard sometimes and Mumbler can help. It’s especially rewarding helping new mums embarking on the journey – we’re in it together!
I’ve had the best nine months, and am planning for the Doncaster Mumbler Awards 2019! It’s been a lot of hard work, but I work school hours or catch up around the kids’ activities.
Being a Mumbler franchisee has far exceeded my expectations.