Do I really need premises?

20.11.10

In interviews with potential franchisees I am often asked the question; "do I really need premises or can I work from home?" I suspect they are often driven to ask this question because the thought of leasing premises makes them nervous and they see this as a risk. The simple truth is that I don't know anybody who has ever built a large profitable business treating customers in their home in significant numbers. Even if you can generate enough business there is always the risk that customers will not take you seriously and may see your business as a sideline rather than a real clinic. How many dentists and doctors operate a surgery from their own house? In some cases there may even be covenants on the lease of your property which prevents you from running a business from your home. There may be other physical restrictions too such as parking or complaints from neighbours as well as the thought of having work invade your home life. The main point is that if you want to build a proper business and if you want customers to take you seriously then you have to take your business seriously. Importantly also from a very practical point of view is - having premises means you have a business to sell. Experienced business owners advise that when you start to build a business you first consider what your exit strategy will be. In many cases people will want to sell their business as well as paying themselves dividends for running it. In some cases the sale of the business can be worth a substantial sum and can contribute significantly towards a retirement or pension fund. Obviously, you cannot sell a clinic business which you operate from your own home. There are also pseudo-legal and real safety concerns around operating from home on your own. In our clinic we always have a minimum of two staff  at any time, this leaves us able to respond effectively if a patient goes into anaphylactic shock or a similar condition requiring immediate assistance and where having two people can be critical. We have a very clear property specification for our new franchisees and many will be surprised at how inexpensive property is to lease, especially in the current market. Many landlords are currently offering at least the first three months rent free and often offer introductory periods even longer than this. The annual rent can be the same as the depreciation some people will suffer on the purchase of a new car. When you consider that your QUTIS clinic franchise can quite easily provide the equivalent of a six figure salary after 2 to 3 years some level of proper investment in premises seems perfectly reasonable. We will spend time and effort in ensuring you find the right premises to start your own Qutis clinic business and that you get a good deal and do not waste money as we have seen others do.

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