Posted in Buying a franchise on June 17, 2011
Popular among former business executives and sales people, the business coaching franchise offers the allure of working from home in a lifestyle business while generating revenues similar to, or even better than, high flying corporate positions. So can a franchised business coach actually enjoy these kinds of benefits?
A quick search on Google reveals that business coaching franchises are a growing breed – the names that crop up include ActionCoach, Shirlaws, Quantum, Ology, The Winning Formula, Alchemy Network, Rapid Results Marketing, Business Doctors, and many other similar ones.
The franchises are generally high cost and justify this cost on the value of the training and intellectual property that they’ll give you. In essence they promise a system that will enable you to acquire clients and then to help those clients make dramatic improvements to their businesses through coaching.
There is, however, a common and worrying trend in these franchises; the number of franchisees who fail to make it for more than a couple of years anecdotally seems to be at the 50% level, or even higher. If you’re considering a business coaching franchise take the time, before you invest in the franchise, to attend a few local business networking meetings and ask about business coaches that they’ve seen there.
A conversation of this type will typically reveal that multiple business coaches have been members of the meeting for a time, before moving on to new business opportunities. This is normally because they’ve been unable to make business coaching pay. It seems that the mix of skills and personal attributes required for real success in business coaching is a rare one. The typical pattern among business coaching franchisees is that the successful ones are very successful and generate substantial incomes, while the bulk seem to struggle.
It’s also relatively uncommon to see renewals at the end of the franchise term. It is still very early days in the life of this type of franchise. Over the next 10 years or so, it’ll be interesting to see which ones have managed to sustain growth substantially and retain franchisees to build a growing platform to develop a powerful brand presence.
One perspective is that people are using business coaching franchises to help them to make the hop from working in corporate positions to working for themselves. It’s possibly a clever strategy, although the cost of entry is very high.
Key measures for success as business coaching franchisee will be your ability to attract new clients, the average spend per client and the duration of your engagement with your clients. These are certainly amongst the numbers you should be asking questions of your potential franchisors.
If you are compelled to help others to achieve success, and are prepared to buy into a new kind of business that’s not yet very mature as a model, you may want to consider a business coaching franchise. Remember, though, that it’s an immature business in franchise terms and you will be self-employed within a system, rather than building a business that works even when you’re away on holiday.