Description: ComputerXplorers is a home-based franchise aiming to help children aged 3 to 13 discover their technology and computer skills through exploration in fun weekly classes. Opportunities: Opportunities available in UK and Ireland. Master License opportunities available in Ireland. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £10,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes.
Case Study: Alan Harrison
Name: Alan Harrison
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I wanted to leave the industry that I had been working in and start my own business. I decided that franchising offered the best opportunity to hit the ground running.
What did you do before taking up a franchise? I worked in promotional licensing for several big film studios and entertainment companies such as Warner Bros, Universal Studios and Dreamworks. Before that I sold beer for Carlsberg!
How did you raise the finance?
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
A full package of sales, finance, technical and administration support both in the US with the Global franchisor, and in the UK with the local franchisor. In addition there was a telesales support package which helped make appointments and get me in front of potential customers within 4 weeks of starting the business. This last part of the package was invaluable.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
I work from home and the majority of my office time is spent administering the business – making sure everyone involved knows what they are doing and have the tools to do it. Outside of the office I regularly visit the schools that I work with, make presentations to children in assemblies, meet with head teachers and business managers and get software installed. I also keep in touch with my teachers meeting or speaking to them once a week.
What challenges have you faced?
All of the regular challenges that running a business entails. My main challenge is whether there will be enough time to do the stuff that needs to be done at the busiest times of the year.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Yes, I am now running my own company, which was my main objective. It is profitable and delivers on what it sets out to do. I have reduced my commute to zero, having spent 10 years or so commuting into London every day. I can decide when to have some time off (subject to what has to be done) and don’t have to hand in a holiday request form!
What differentiates your franchise from the competition?
The thing that I like about the ComputerXplorers franchise is that the financial model is robust – you only incur costs once you have brought money in. In addition the product is always going to be in demand and you have a constantly evolving audience.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
I guess it’s someone who buys into the franchise model completely.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Be comfortable with the financial model of your franchise. Know what your product is and who it is going to sell to. Ask the franchisor and existing franchisees how to fail with the franchise. If you think that you might do the things that will cause it to fail, then be wary.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep building this business and look at opportunities to expand.
Would you do it again?
Yes, this franchise has worked for me and has delivered on what I expected at the beginning.
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
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