Turning your business idea into reality
Thinking of becoming your own boss? Increase your chances of success by choosing the correct route
The fear of joining the ever-increasing social welfare queue pushed Juliet O’Connell to become a franchisee for garment alteration business The Zip Yard. ”
“I was working for a company for three years as a marketing manager and the future of my job was in doubt,” she says.
“I researched a number of possible business ventures and it soon became apparent that following the tried and tested model of a franchise would help me to minimise the risk of starting my own business.”
O’Connell says she opted for the Zip Yard franchise, as she wanted a business that would thrive even if people had lower disposable incomes.
“The Zip Yard had 11 outlets nationwide when I decided to set up the Dún Laoghaire Alterations Boutique and I had the confidence they were all extremely successful which limited the risk immensely.”
She said the turnkey franchise business cost less than €50,000 to set up, adding that the Zip Yard’s proven track record has enabled the brand to build a strong relationship with a number of banks.
“Revenue has increased each month since we opened without exception. It’s a fantastic feeling to have seven full-time staff members in Dún Laoghaire when it all started out with me losing my own job.”
O’Connell says the training from Zip Yard headquarters was invaluable, with Caroline Wallace, the national franchisor for the Zip Yard group, coming out to her store to help with the initial set up.
“Caroline moved in to Dún Laoghaire and didn’t leave until she and I were 100 per cent confident to run the business.”
Earlier this year, David McKone took the master franchise for Right at Home in Ireland. Having sold his business to another Irish company in November 2011, he began looking at other business ideas.
“I looked at several franchise models in the US and spoke with approximately 30 franchisees. You get a good sense of the type of support you receive from head office by talking to them.”
He ultimately decided on the Right at Home franchise, which provides in-home care for the elderly and people with disabilities, as it has been successfully adopted into different markets worldwide.
He says the figures for buying into this franchise in Ireland have yet to be worked out, but would be based on the US, where a Right at Home franchise costs $40,000, with $100,000 to $150,000 start-up capital also required.
He says the advantages of buying a turnkey business are that “it takes time and money to work things out when you are creating your own business. With a franchise, that is already done for you.”
Getting started: buying an existing
business or taking out a franchise
So where can you buy a business? One place is Savvy.ie, an online platform for buying, selling or investing in a business set up by accountant Shane Connors and solicitor William Brennan.