Five factors that you should be considering buying a franchise

Buying a franchise is exciting (or at least it should be!) Let’s be honest – for many people, it’s also rather daunting. Working for yourself can be a big change, and the opportunity to ‘be your own boss’ can trigger many of the following questions: how can you be sure that you’re making the right decision? How do you pick the franchise that’s right for you? Where do you even start?!

In this blog, Nemo Swimming outlines five factors that you should be considering when evaluating any franchise opportunity.

1. ‘Fit’

The market for baby, toddler, and children’s classes is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate. With this growth, there is a huge choice of activities for parents to pick from. From a franchise point of view, this brings so many exciting opportunities. When looking at these opportunities, it is important to consider whether you could see yourself delivering the type of services that the franchisor has to offer. Find out how that franchisor operates: does this way of working fit with your personality, your preferences, and your requirements?

It’s also important to consider how well you get on with the franchisor. Although you will be working for yourself once you purchase your chosen franchise, you won’t – at least you shouldn’t – be working by yourself. You’re bound to have lots of questions for any potential franchisor, but they should also want to get to know you. The questions that they ask about you will give you a good indication as to whether you will be a valued extension of their brand, or if you will be viewed simply as ‘another franchisee’.

2. Cost

When you start looking at franchise opportunities, you’ll find that the cost of packages varies significantly. For each opportunity you look at, it is helpful to consider what you are – and what you are not – getting. Most franchises involve an upfront cost and then a recurring monthly fee. Some will ask you to start paying the monthly fee straight away, and others will be once you start delivering. Think about how much money you will need to be making to operate profitably after paying this fee. Once you have a figure in mind, work back from there and determine how many hours of delivery this might equate to. Ask yourself, does this fit with your expectations? Also look at how this monthly fee, as well as any upfront cost, is used to drive forward the brand that you are buying in to – a lower monthly fee may mean that less investment is being made in marketing, for example. It’s important that you consider how this will affect you once you start operating.

3. Support

If you’re buying a franchise, you can expect to be able to tap into the expertise that your chosen franchisor has amassed over the years. With this in mind, it’s worthwhile considering why the business has decided to franchise. It is useful to consider questions such as how long had they been operating before they made this decision? How had their business grown? What did their business look like at the time? This will give you an insight into the franchisor’s ‘business intelligence’, and can be useful when trying to determine what kind of support you can expect once the franchise agreement has been signed. You should also ask what sort of marketing support you could expect to receive; most franchisors will offer support here, but what that support looks like varies significantly. Does the franchisor have a preferred booking system? If so, is this an ‘off the shelf’ system, or has it been designed specifically with their business in mind? Your franchisor should be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to running a business, but you may also have access to a wider support network, such as other franchisees, an in-house marketing team, a training crew, and more. It is crucial to your success as a franchisee to find out what this support network looks like.

4. Return

‘Return’ is an important consideration for anybody who is starting up their own business: how much money can you, realistically, expect to make, and how quickly? The answer to this question will depend on many factors, including your own drive and determination. Your franchisor should, however, be able to give you some indication as to what you can expect to earn during the first year and beyond. When they give you these indications, look at how they have been calculated, and then consider whether you feel this is feasible for you. As discussed earlier, think about what support the franchisor will deliver to help you hit these figures.

5. Future

Let’s fast forward, just for a minute. You’ve been running your franchise for a couple of years now. Things are going great. You love the freedom that this opportunity has brought you – but what’s next? Are there options to extend? How can you continue to grow your business, as well as your own skills? Your future as a franchisee is always something to bear in mind when evaluating franchise opportunities. It’s equally important, though, to consider what happens if things don’t go to plan. If you’ve carefully evaluated some of the things we have discussed above, you – hopefully, at least – shouldn’t encounter any huge surprises. However, you might find that, for whatever reason, you’re not enjoying life as a franchisee. It is here that you might consider you other options. Most franchise packages will run, initially, for a period of x years, but there will usually be an option to sell after a specific period of time. It’s probably worthwhile looking at this, just in case.

The route to becoming a franchisee has a lot to take in on the way, but we hope you’ve found this blog useful. Why not check out our list questions to ask when buying a franchise. You can also find out more about Nemo Swimming’s franchise package here.

New Year, New Opportunities: Nemo Swimming joins #FranchiseFebruary!

“Taking the Plunge: Phillip Groom, Theresa Nicolson and Amy Mooney” (Image: Copyright unknown)

The Nemo Swimming family are casting out their net to potential franchisees as part of the National Franchise Exhibition this February!

Nemo Swimming, The National Franchise Exhibition and #FranchiseFebruary.

Nemo Swimming will exhibit at The National Franchise Exhibition, held at The NEC in Birmingham on the 16 &17th February. (Find us amongst a fabulous programme of franchisors, exhibitors and seminars here.)

Following the phenomenal success of Franchise February 2017, the dedicated and experienced team at have created #FranchiseFebruary. The hashtag aims to highlight February as a popular month for franchising enquiries, as well as celebrating the opportunity to ‘enjoy your family life and your career equally’. Here at Nemo Swimming, we couldn’t agree more, and we are proud to be part of such a significant event (find our franchise opportunity featured on here!)  

The Nemo Swimming journey travels: Why are we franchising?

From our unique swimming pathway and our jam-packed lessons, to our press coverage on YouTube and The Chronicle, Nemo Swimming’s award-winning lessons have made us the go to provider for hundreds of children across the North East.

Year on year, we continue to make a splash!

Now it’s time cast the Nemo Swimming net further afield. Our directors, Phillip Groom and Theresa Nicholson, are offering potential franchisees the benefit of their 10 years of experience in the swimming industry.

“Nemo Swimming is a great opportunity to take the message across the country”, Director Phil Groom states. “The journey travels,” he continues, “and we offer the complete pathway from baby all the way up to the age of twelve. This is a fantastic opportunity for a small business operator to run their own lessons in their own area and make a real difference to the world of swimming!”

“We provide our franchisees with comprehensive training and support”, Theresa Nicholson adds, “and we have designed our franchise system to provide everything someone needs to start their own successful swimming business based on our model”.

So, what can you expect from Nemo’s stall at the National Franchise Exhibition? For a start, you will find our dedicated directors and enthusiastic marketing team on hand to talk you through each step of our franchising process. Perhaps you’ll fancy a selfie in our infamous selfie boards? Or even say hello to our inflatable fish? Our stall is a snapshot of opportunity; it will reflect the heart of the Nemo Swimming family and what we will offer to all of our franchisees: a flexible work and family life, a proven business and successful model, and – most importantly – a dedicated and experienced team that will grant all franchisees a solid network of support!

A Shoal of Franchisees: Join the Nemo Swimming Family!

Of course, The NFE Birmingham isn’t the only opportunity to become a franchisee of Nemo Swimming – join us here to find out more.

Stay afloat of our swimming (and selfie) fun, and follow our tails (get it?!) from Birmingham on Twitter and Facebook.