Guest post by Sue Burton
Today I read 2 business articles and coincidentally they both said the same thing – KEEP IT SIMPLE!
This was Karen Brady’s advice, in November’s addition of Woman & Home, to a lady about setting up a new business and the other was comparing business sales with the author’s experience at a restaurant where the menu was in his words ‘Eye wateringly Huge’. Simplicity is the answer and this is exactly what I wanted after having my daughter. I wanted to do something I was passionate about, work from home and see all the milestones in her life. Some may think this is unrealistic but my work fits around her – most of my baking is carried out whilst she is at school and whilst she is asleep and when she’s home from school and at weekends she has my undivided attention. By keeping things simple I have the work/life balance I require.
When I set up the ‘Shortbread Gift Company’ over 7 years ago I spent some time analysing the food gift market. I realised there were numerous companies producing expertly intricate handmade chocolates, spectacular cupcakes & amazingly iced biscuits but sometimes people just want something simple and homely – shortbread!
A simple route to setting up a business is Franchising or Licencing.
Franchising and licensing. It’s about replicating success by minimising risk
People who take up a franchise or a licence are often looking for freedom from employment, flexible working, and a way to invest in their skills and interests, without the risk of starting a completely unproven business concept from scratch. It is a way to quickly get started in business with a proven concept doing something you love, in a flexible working environment.
Franchising versus Licensing. What’s the difference?
The advantage of starting a new business via a franchise or licence is that you can start out with a recognised brand which increases the opportunity to start your business strongly and quickly according to a proven and profitable concept and approach.
Franchising A franchise is a business with a strong brand and well-established, repeatable business model which reproduces the business model via franchising. A franchisee is the person who purchases the rights to use the company’s business name and operate the business model according to the franchise agreement. A franchise offers the brand name in return for a franchise fee but the franchisor often provides (and charges for) supplies, help with identifying a physical location, assistance with obtaining start-up funding, marketing and training support and a detailed business and operational manual specifying precisely how the franchise should and must operate. The franchisee has the benefit of having immediately successful and proven processes to apply and a brand name which enables immediate sales. One of the disadvantages for the franchisee is that the franchisor has the opportunity to exert considerable control over the franchisee in terms of how the business is run and marketed.
Licensing A business owner, the licensor grants the licensee the right to use the brand name and idea (intellectual property) via a licence agreement. A licensing agreement is a simpler arrangement where the licensee pays for the use of a name, logo and idea. There may even be no other further support other than to use the licenced intellectual property. The licensee is able to use their knowledge and experience of local circumstances to operate the business in the best way for them (provided they adhere to the licence agreement). The licensee has the freedom to operate the business much more in their own way, so it is highly scalable from micro to larger business depending on the ambitions of the licensee.
The birth of the Homebaked Gift Company.
My vision with the Homebaked Gift Company is to have a team of enthusiastic people with similar priorities to mine, who want to build a business within their local community, being part of a UK team of baking enthusiasts, being guided every step of the way by my expertise. Ultimately I came to the decision that I wanted my ‘Baking Business in a Box’ to be affordable for all. My business ventures have always been low risk and flexible and so I have taken the Licence route. Franchises have strict procedures to be adhered to whereas Licences have flexibility to add your own twist on things. Just as I wanted this flexibility I am offering this for others too. So if you are interested in this astonishingly simple way to flexible working through the affordable licensing of a proven approach and are keen to find out more, please contact me.