Editorial – Supported Business

Karen Birch

Karen Birch

This month we look at the broad are of supported businesses; franchise/agency/licensing.
These are very often the starting point for women going into business for the first time, either as a full-time business or a way to make an extra income, and particularly for working mums looking to do something while the kids are at home rather than going out 9-5. The main advantage to this business model is that it is ‘supported‘ by the franchiser/agency/license holder.

When asked about starting a business most people think either;

1. You have to have a BRAND NEW PRODUCT…look at Jane Rafter, Female Inventor of the Year who featured in last month’s magazine.

2. You have to have a BRAND NEW APPROACH to an existing product/service…look at Lisa Newton of Boogles, featured in the magazine this month with her fresh, new take on traditional bookkeeping and the fantastic work Jaime Markey is doing with her PR company, JAMpr.

3. You have to have BRAND NEW IDEAS on how to make an existing business better…look at Katie Bennett, also in the magazine this month, who is taking her parents business to a new level

But what if you don’t have a BIG IDEA of your own?

As Jane Kenyon, the Well Heeled Diva tells us in her article this month, entrepreneurs are NOT JUST CREATORS!

If you have the drive and desire to start your own business but haven’t had that creative eureka moment, then supported businesses are a great way to start. First of all you get the benefit of an existing BRAND, something that cannot be underestimated.

When I was growing up there was a lovely lady who I saw out and about in my home town. She came to our house every Tuesday evening, without fail. I only ever knew her as the AVON LADY. Now imagine you had a love of cosmetics and wanted to be involved in your own business in this area. How much cost and effort do you think it would take to create a cosmetic brand that became eponymous?

So, franchises etc can give that instant recognisability, and often acceptability. I’m pretty sure that more doors open to the Avon lady than a competitor selling ‘unknown‘ products door-to-door – at least intitially.

And it is not just the power of an existing brand. A supported business often gives access to a huge infrastructure that it would be difficult for the small businessman to build from scrtach.

You can see from Carol Pengelly at SendOutCards, also in this issue of the magazine, how a business can be built here in the UK using products and infrastructure based wholly in the USA. I’m pretty sure that if any one of us had the idea to set up a direct mail operation like this from scratch we would have struggled to raise the finance needed for such a huge investment in manufacturing plant.

So here Carol, as the license holder, has all of the benefits of a new, innovative product with none of the capital investment, allowing all her energies to be channelled into sales and marketing.

So if you are thinking about starting your own business don’t be put off by not having that ‘big idea‘

* READ what Jane has to say about “Going With Your Flow”
* READ Amanda, the WEALTHBABE, on wealth creation and choosing the right way to maximise your investment of time and money.
* READ Sonia Brown and her inspirational advice on taking stock at the year end and starting 2010 with new drive and purpose.
* READ Marie-Claire on clearing the clutter in your life and allowing yourself to FOCUS on what you want to achieve and
* READ her advice on having the right ATTITUDE and relationship with money to allow you to generate the wealth you desire.

And you MUST READ the leading article this month; the profile of KATHRYN TEMPLE.

As the winner of the 2008 Business Person of the Year Award, and a finalist in the 2009 Business with Community Impact, Kath is passionate about making a difference and leaving a legacy of lasting social change.

Kath is the CEO of The Lifelong Learning Company, which she established in 1995. She also founded World Change Agents, Happiness Magazine, and The Happiness Foundation which promotes positive psychology and improves mental health and well-being.

Kath says “I am in my wisdom years now – and I make every moment count. I’m doing the work I was born to do. I live the life I love, and I love the life I live!”

Kath’s story can inspire you to live YOUR dream!

Enjoy the magazine!

Karen x

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