Frequently Asked Questions
Take your first step to being part of a growing success story
Our Franchise team are always here and available to answer any questions you may have but we have compiled some of the most popular questions that may give you what you’re looking for.
Do I need to have experience of retailing or detailed knowledge of mobility and homecare products?
No, we will train you in all aspects of our business. Our training package is comprehensive and lasts six weeks.
What do you look for in a franchisee?
Our ideal franchisee is someone who has the desire, energy, and determination to build their own ethically based business in the mobility sector. They will have an enthusiastic customer service mentality and want to make a difference to people’s lives through providing quality products and services that people can afford.
What qualifications do I need?
Our franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. We have seen people succeed who have had backgrounds in retail, healthcare, the armed services, general management, and engineering to name a few. As for qualifications, whilst we have people in our organisation who have very strong academic qualifications, we also have equally successful people whose skills and qualifications are more experienced based.
What will the franchisee’ job entail?
An Ableworld franchise consists of a retail outlet and a stairlift business. For the retail side, you can think of the job as similar to a specialist retail manager. Building trusted relationships and giving high levels of customer service before, during and after the sale are paramount. On the stairlift side of the business, franchisees will need to be able to quote, install, and repair the equipment.
A background in light engineering is an advantage although full training will be given. A possible option is to hire an engineer if the franchise partner him/herself prefers to concentrate their efforts on the sales and management side. As several of our franchisees have proved, a partnership of two or more people, pooling their skills and experience can work very well.
Do I need to be an engineer to do the stairlift side of the business?
It helps if you have some practical or mechanical skills but if you do not have these skills or do not wish to develop them, we can advise you on employing someone who does. Either way we will give you and/or your engineer full training.
How will my territory be protected?
The franchise agreement sets out very clearly that your territory is exclusive to you. Neither other franchisees nor the franchisor is permitted to open or advertise in your territory without your agreement.
Can I open more than one store or purchase another territory?
Yes. You can open another store within your exclusive territory if it is commercially viable. Once you have the first store running successfully, we can help you decide whether to open the second store in your existing territory or whether to purchase an additional territory.
How long is the term of the franchise?
The franchise term is initially for five years. At the end of this period you have the right to renew for another five years. At the end of ten years you have the right to renew for another five years. This means a total of 15 years. Thereafter, renewal would be subject to discussion. The exact terms of renewal are contained in the franchise agreement.
Do I need to have experience of running a business before?
No, most first-time franchisees have not run their own business before. Help is readily available from us and organisations such as the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) which we strongly recommend you join.
What is the minimum investment required?
Owning an Ableworld Franchise calls for an overall investment of £75K - £80K. Our franchise proposition has been approved by all the main high street banks who specialise in franchise lending and, subject to status, finance can be arranged for up to 70% of the total investment which means that franchisees can start an Ableworld Franchise with as little as £25K funds of their own.
What are the financial prospects?
The opportunity is there for you to do very well financially and we are happy to share with you what other franchisees have done when we meet. However, as a rough indication the average franchise should be capable of at least half a million pounds turnover by the second year. *
Can I sell my franchise?
Yes. There is an active re-sale market for franchises in the UK. What you get for your franchise will depend on a number of factors. The most important thing to consider is how successful your franchise has been. We have experience of helping franchisees re-sell their franchises and are happy to advise and help you when the time comes.
How long has Ableworld been open?
We were founded in 2000. Our first store (Nantwich) opened in 2001. We grew steadily after that and in 2008 made our successful business model available as a franchise. In 2014 we were nominated as a finalist for the British Franchise Association’s Emerging Franchise of The Year. We are now the largest mobility retailer in the country with 36 stores across the UK, and we’re still growing.
What else do I need?
You need to have the desire, enthusiasm, and energy to build a successful business in a completely ethical fashion. We are not a hard-sell organisation. We rely on providing quality goods and services to our customers at affordable prices.
Yes, you need to have a current UK driving licence and be able to pass a DBS (previously called CRB) check.
*The figures set forth in this illustration indicate average turnover levels for single store franchise businesses with 5 years trading (as at Jan 2020), and estimated gross profit % and costs to represent what we believe to be achievable figures. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the same results, nor is it intended that you should rely on them as a warranty or guarantee of what you will achieve.