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Financial services and franchising: a complete guide

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Financial services and franchising: a complete guide

The world of financial services can often seem nebulous, this guide breaks down the field and provides useful advice on financial services franchises

When it comes to the relationship between financial services and franchise owners, there are a handful of different areas to consider.

For instance, many white collar, financial services franchise operations are available and could prove a viable career path for a particular kind of entrepreneur. This includes brands like TaxAssist Accountants, which provides accounting services to small businesses and self-employed individuals. Not only does this allow entrepreneurial business owners to run their own operations, but they can also provide bookkeeping services to emerging brands and help other centers grow and thrive. Financial service franchises operate in one of the several lucrative industries of the market; provided the operator knows what they’re doing.

But if popular search queries are anything to go by, there’s still a lot of confusion around the connections between business services and franchise opportunities. Phrases like ‘What is financial services?’, ‘What is the financial services industry?’, and ‘Is insurance considered financial services?’ prevail among top questions searched by individuals wanting to get a clearer picture of this industry.

If you want to become an industry leader and get a grip on the wide range of business opportunities on offer under this umbrella, then continue reading our comprehensive guide to the multi-million dollar industry that is financial services franchising.

What companies are in the finance field?

Many business owners work in the financial services franchise industry, as well as on the supplier side of this area. The latter means organizations like Guidant Financial, Benetrends Financial, and Blaze Financial Services.

The first two organizations in particular work with business owners to help start or buy a business, and can also assist with 401(k)/IRA business funding, corporate capitalization strategies, and Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans.

Guidant Financial in particular is IFA-accredited, was recognized by Entrepreneur as a Top Franchise Supplier, and has worked with many different kinds of franchise business including Clean Juice, The DRIPbar, and Anytime Fitness.

On the flip side to this, you have organizations like the aforementioned TaxAssist Accountants, as well as popular franchise brands like Expense Reduction Analysts. Both have a presence throughout North America and beyond, and are suited to many countries’ financial systems.

These fall under the ‘financial franchises’ banner, and operate how you’d expect any kind of franchising model to: they require the signing of a franchise agreement, generate revenue for the franchisor with the sale of franchises, and are a popular business opportunity for white collar entrepreneurs wanting to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves.

They are also tangentially linked to areas like real estate, cost reduction, and other kinds of financial services companies. Ultimately, if an organization is concerned with wealth management, or has a primary focus on business clients, then it’s likely that it falls under this comprehensive franchising banner.
While it’s impossible for a particular franchise industry to be the perfect one-size-fits-all option for all possible business owners, there are certainly a wide range of reasons why white collar franchises and similar businesses in the financial sphere could be the best possible franchise for you.

Should you invest in a financial services franchise?

For starters, this is an industry that’s inherently future-proofing as it goes – one of the key considerations that franchising experts assert for first-time investors. By their nature, franchise businesses that specialize in supporting other kinds of business will always be in demand; especially during periods of hardship or challenge like the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, the best financial services franchises act as community-based financial service centers; providing their local peers with unparalleled support. It’s truly a win-win situation.

And they’re always evolving. The challenges of running a business are seemingly new every day, and the best solutions use decades of experience to offer a host of additional services in an organization’s time of need. This doesn’t mean that roadblocks suddenly become easy, but a helping hand can make all the difference for any kind of successful business.

This was something emphasized by Expense Reduction Analysts’ founder and executive chairman Fred Marfleet, when the brand took home the Best White Collar Franchise Award at the Global Franchise Awards 2020.

“We strongly believe that setting and maintaining a consistently high set of standards for all franchise partners, regardless of location, is the key to our international success. In addition to this, we have a flexible business model that is recession-proof and well suited to the ever-changing economy,” said Marfleet.

“This high level of consistency can only be achieved when you have the right team in place. Having a professional and dedicated support team, we are able to assist and guide our carefully selected franchise partners to deliver great results time and time again, operating as a unified brand.”
So you’ve made the decision to pursue one of the many possible franchise opportunities available in this space, and are now at the stage of exploring the franchises for sale to find the perfect fit.

How to open a financial services franchise

To make it in the world of business ownership, you need to find something to be passionate about, that you enjoy doing, and that can bring you not only financial but personal success and satisfaction. So how do you start narrowing down the vast number of opportunities to find the concept that is right for you?

The ancient Greeks often spoke of the importance of ‘knowing thyself’ and this is the best place to start when looking to go into business. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is paramount to choosing the right franchise. Ask yourself, what are your business strengths and what are your potential weaknesses or opportunities for growth?

Narrow down your search to a few possible franchises so that you can focus in and do your homework. Comparing franchise concepts within a given industry is a great way to set some benchmarks and will allow you to compare important things like response time, support to the franchisees, and products or services.

As you begin your search, any reputable business will be happy to send you information at no cost and the most successful companies have a thorough step-by-step process of mutual investigation to avoid any potential pitfalls.

While you are following their education processes, do your own detective work. Search online to find all of the information you can about the company you’re considering, including reviews, startup costs, existing client relationships, any competitive solutions they may offer, whether they provide comprehensive training, and any other information about your initial investment.

Do enough research to form a solid, educated choice but be careful not to get stuck in a never-ending rabbit hole of investigation; remember, your goal is to make a decision, so set a timeline for your research.
Franchise investments can range from a few thousand pounds to millions, making crunching numbers critical. Look at not only the upfront investment, including the franchise fee and any build-out costs if applicable, but also ongoing costs like monthly fees, advertising contributions, and royalties.

How much does it cost to open a financial services franchise?

This is a great point to involve your accountant so they can establish an estimate for the future of your business, but also to understand the variables that will affect your results. Having the capital to remain safe is one of the most important factors in starting a business.

Although you may not be working with them directly, it is important to meet the team you will be dealing with and the management in charge of the franchise.

Many franchises host ‘discovery days’ for just this reason. The look and culture of the office and the attitudes of the people working there can speak volumes about the company itself and this can only be seen in person – though as would be expected, virtual discovery days have become a popular form of networking over the past year.

Remember: you are considering a business partnership with these people; you will need to look them in the eye and like what you see before making a commitment.

If you’re happy with the franchise model of a particular brand, have the capital to cover the initial franchise fee, and have suitable industry experience (or have the option to receive core business training), then sign on that dotted line and start the next chapter of your professional career.

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