Another option – franchise ownership

Franchise ownership could be an easier route

With all the DVSA criteria you need to meet before opening an ATB, an easier route to starting your own business could be to open a franchise school. All good ATBs help their franchises with every aspect of running a motorcycle training business, from booking CBT bike tests to running motorcycle lessons. 

Opening a franchise will usually require less capital so can be more feasible financially than starting your own ATB.

With a franchise, the amount of money you have to pay initially and each month is more fixed so this will make budgeting easier and help with planning as a new business owner. If you decided to set up your own ATB you may be met with unforeseen costs that you hadn’t planned for.

When looking for a franchise opportunity don’t just go for the first one you find, shop around and compare the facts and figures from the ones you are interested in. 

Once you have narrowed it down, arrange a meeting with the franchise seller to run through all the questions you have. It is vital to go through the terms of the agreement in detail and always a good idea to get a second opinion. You should ask any questions you can think of and query any points you’re not sure of or don’t understand. If you were to miss or interpret a point differently this could lead to problems further down the line which could impact your business. 

When deciding whether or not to take the franchise opportunity you should always consider the pros and cons. We recommend a SWOT analysis for the business. Below are some of the pros and cons we have come up with for franchise ownership. 

Pros:

In your research, make sure it has a good reputation. 

Similar to the above, the franchise name you buy into will already be a recognised name in the industry.

The franchise as a whole will market the brand which in turn will have a positive impact on your business.

There will be a number of fellow franchise owners who have been in the same position as you who can offer advice and support.

The business will be yours and you decide on its direction as long as this fits in with the guidelines set out in the franchise agreement.

When starting out you will be given a lot of advice and guidance to create your business plan.

The franchise will have contacts and preferred suppliers that you can trust, as they have been used before. 

Cons:

You will be your own boss as a franchise owner but you will have to follow the set terms and conditions.

Different franchises will have different levels of autonomy; it is important to consider this when deciding which franchise to go with.

Once you have started your franchise you won’t be able to just sit back and let the franchisor or other members of the network do all the work. You will have to drive your business forward.

Starting a franchise may be cheaper than starting your own ATB but there are still costs involved. You will need to buy into the franchise and then pay a regular fee, which could be either a percentage of your profits or a yearly fee.

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