It’s funny how some people who have no experience in franchising mistakenly think they know all the ins and outs of this method of running a business.
These misguided views can create a false impression and, as the UK’s largest independent swim school, we’d like to take this opportunity to put the record straight. So, here are five common myths of franchising that we’re happy to blow out of the water.
Myth 1: Being a franchisee means I’m not really in charge of my business
There might well be the odd moment, if things aren’t running as smoothly as you might have hoped, when you’ll wish you weren’t really in charge of your franchise. But, the fact is, the buck will always stop with you. Yes, you’ll benefit from professional support covering everything from marketing to best practice strategies, but ultimately you will be the one making all the decisions that matter.
Even though you will be expected to follow certain processes and systems to maintain the integrity of the brand, you still retain complete control of running the business. For most business owners, having a successful business model to follow is a positive rather than a negative. After all, this gives you the chance to benefit from tried-and-tested business strategies and helps you avoid making the same mistakes that others may have made before you.
Myth 2: You need to have business experience to run a franchise
This could be the single myth we hear more than any other. Previous business experience isn’t a bad thing, obviously, but it certainly isn’t a prerequisite for a Swimtime franchisee in our eyes. That’s because there are other qualities we believe are far more important: like a good work ethic and a willingness to learn.
Like ours, most franchise networks provide comprehensive training programmes that will give you all the business grounding you need. You’ll also profit from the ongoing support of experts who will alert you to the many opportunities and pitfalls ahead. Access to these ‘in-house’ mentors and their wealth of experience, means you can learn ‘on the job’, building and increasing your own knowledge along the way.
Contrary to what you might expect, at Swimtime we’ve always maintained that a lack of business experience can actually be a good thing, as it will mean you won’t have any bad business habits that need correcting.
Myth 3: To run a franchise, you need to be an expert in the industry
Let’s clear something up straight away – you don’t need to be Michael Phelps to run a Swimtime franchise. And the same logic applies to other franchise businesses in different industries! Many people think that without extensive experience in the given sector, they wouldn’t be able to run a successful franchise, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s certainly not going to do any harm if you’re a fitness fanatic thinking of buying into a gym franchise, for example, but it’s far more important that you have a good business brain rather than big muscles.
Whether you choose to run a fast-food restaurant, a mobile pet grooming service or a swimming school, the principles of business success are very much the same. You need to be offering something that people want and delivering it to a consistently high standard.
So, even if you have never thought about running a swim school before, you could still be the perfect candidate to open a Swimtime franchise. It’s far more important that you have an aptitude for things like business strategy, marketing and cash flow than knowing the finer points of the front crawl.
Myth 4: You can only own a franchise on your own, not with a partner
Some franchisees prefer to run things on their own, but we’re very open to the idea of a partnership team buying into one of our franchises. In fact, this can be a highly successful formula. Take Heather and Lewis, for example, who run the Edinburgh franchise together.
Heather had been keen to invest in a franchise with Swimtime, but she couldn’t afford to do so on her own. That’s why she approached Lewis, a swimming teacher who she had worked with before. Heather thought he was exactly the right type of person to start a business with and her instincts have proved to be correct.
Combining their complementary skills has been a major factor in their business success with Heather and Lewis clearly demonstrating that two heads can be better than one when it comes to running a franchise.
Myth 5: As a Swimtime franchisee, you can’t work from home
We’re adding this one to the list because it’s a myth we’ve heard a lot since the COVID pandemic as hybrid and remote working have rapidly become dominant trends.
Unless, you’re actually taking the swimming lessons yourself, which some of our current franchisees do very much enjoy, there’s really no need for you to be at a workstation close to the pool. Owning a Swimtime franchise will enable you to design a working day that fits perfectly with your other commitments, and that includes the location you choose to work from. That makes it ideal for a working mum, for example, who also wants to have a successful career.
All you need is an internet connection and you can work anywhere, from your favourite café to your kitchen table. While we should emphasise that the harder you graft, the more successful your business is likely to be, having a Swimtime franchise does give you ultimate flexibility in how, when and where you work.
If you’d like to find out more about Swimtime and our successful franchise model, please just follow this link. We’d love to hear from you and we’ll be delighted to answer any questions you might have with no obligation whatsoever.