If anybody tells you that starting a business is easy, then they probably haven’t had any direct experience of doing it themselves! But while it takes effort, determination and lots of preparation, there are some easier routes into getting a business off the ground.
When starting a business from the ground up, there’s lots of work to do before you start engaging with prospective customers. This could include:
- Improving your skills and knowledge
- Gaining a qualification or accreditation
- Extensive market research
- Creating a business plan
- Deciding on your operational structure
- Finding premises
- Raising finance/finding investors
- Building industry contacts
- Sourcing products
- Finding employees
- Getting legal and financial/tax advice
- Deciding on branding
- Building a website
- Marketing and promoting your services
This is just a brief snippet of your initial activities, the list could go on, and on…! On top of this, you then need to learn all the different skills required to manage every aspect of your business, such as distribution, logistics, analysis, forecasting, dealing with suppliers, customers and staff, banking, cash flow - yes, another very long list!
As you can see, it’s no easy task - and research indicates that as many as four in ten businesses fail within their first 5 years of trading, which is a pretty painful statistic when you think of the time and money you’ll invest into the company in that time.
So what’s the alternative?
Looking for business opportunities with existing organisations
Rather than starting your own business from scratch, you can look into business opportunities with existing companies, via a ‘licensing agreement’.
This allows you to bypass much of the initial groundwork, as the business is already established and has all of the key management, service and promotional components covered - so you can pretty much get started straight away. Starting a business this way gives you the advantage of lots of support, while still giving you the freedom, personal satisfaction and kudos of being your own boss.
Business models vary - as do the sectors offering these opportunities - but generally speaking you won’t need any specific previous experience. Many businesses offering licensing arrangements are more interested in ‘soft skills’, such as:
- Good communication skills
- Ability to absorb and understand new information
- Responsible and self-motivated
- Ability to perform under pressure
That said, most licensing business opportunities tend to come from sales-centric businesses, so some experience in this area would be beneficial. However, if you have good interpersonal skills, this should be enough to help you build the sales-specific expertise you need to make a success of your new role.
Starting a business through licensing - things to ask
Not all licensing opportunities are created equally: some will require you to be fairly autonomous and take care of lots of different elements of the business, providing a guide to follow to ensure you stay ‘on brand’ and work according to their preferred processes. Others will provide lots of in-house support throughout the lifecycle of your licensing agreement.
Here are a few things to ask when you first enter into discussions with a potential licensor…
Start-up costs and potential ROI - the financial investment you’re required to make can vary considerably, so make sure you’re clear on what it costs and also what the projected return on investment is once you’re up to speed.
Training - what kind of initial training will you get, or will you be left to your own devices with just a handbook for reference? What about ongoing training opportunities? Is the training delivered in person or online?
Ongoing support - once you’ve started your business, are you left to carry on alone, or do you have access to internal staff who can continue to guide and support you?
Distribution and logistics - do you buy products from the company and then manage the sales and distribution yourself, or does the ‘parent’ business take care of this? If the former, you’ll need to calculate the additional costs for storage, distribution and the associated logistics.
Marketing - will you be responsible for promoting your products and services, or will you benefit from the licensing company’s expertise? This can be another drain on financial resources and difficult to get right with no prior experience, so think carefully if you’re expected to do it all on your own!
Starting a business in mobile communications with Challenger
You might not think that you’re cut out for a career in technology and communications, but if you’re thinking of starting a business, our team at Challenger Mobile Communications have designed a fantastic business opportunity that might just surprise you. We believe that with the right attitude, right support and some steely determination, anyone can start a business in our field of expertise.
Our business licensing opportunity has been carefully created to give you the very best start. If you don’t know much about mobile and communications technology solutions to begin with, our bespoke, comprehensive training programmes are tailored to your individual needs to ensure you have all the skills and tools you need to hit the ground running.
Because you’ll be dealing directly with customers, we do recommend that licensees have some kind of history or experience in a sales environment, but demonstration of the soft skills covered earlier in the article can also be sufficient to make a real success of this opportunity.
When you team up with Challenger, you’ll attend an initial 8 day training programme covering vital modules such as:
- Full product training
- Operational training
- Systems training
- Sales training
This will give you the knowledge and support to sell our products and services including:
Why is this such a great opportunity?
Relatively low start-up costs and an exceptional level of ongoing support from our head office are just two of the great reasons to start a business under our licensing offer.
Additionally, by starting a business in the technology sector, you’ll find that it’s a much more sustainable option than many other options: businesses rely on technology to manage pretty much everything these days, and once any contract period expires, they’ll need to sign-up for their next package. This means that providing we offer a great service together, they’ll keep coming back at renewal time!
And yes, we said ‘together’… we don’t just leave you to manage everything yourself; essentially you bring in the business to us, and we take care of the distribution and connection of the items and services you’ve sold, leaving you free to move on to the next prospective customer. We’ll even manage ongoing customer service support - pretty unusual for many license opportunities.
Learn more and get started
To find out more about taking on a licensed contract with Challenger, please take a look at our dedicated business opportunity page. Here you’ll learn about the in-depth support you’ll get while running your own business, with the option to take the first step on this exciting new journey.
So as you can see, with the right methodology and approach, starting a business and finding the right opportunity can end up being much easier that you might expect! Call us on 0800 269 546 and we will guide you through the process.
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