This varies according to what kind of franchise you are taking on. For those setting up a depot - with Fastway or ANC - some kind of managerial experience is necessary. In that sense it is a white-collar opportunity.
ANC network general manager John Hamill explains that at ANC, "Franchisees tend to be around 40 years old, existing senior managers with proven business and industrial experience."
For this kind of work, it also pays to have distribution experience. A lot of the ANC franchisees, for example come from other national freight companies; they want stay in the industry but work for themselves. It also isn't uncommon for managers from within ANC to take up franchises because they want to get more involved at the ground level.
One thing you will have to be prepared for at any level is long and often unsociable hours. Working in a depot is a 24-hour, seven-day week business and you will probably find yourself working 12 hour days initially. That is, if you want to build up the business.
The same applies for couriers, though the hours are more likely to be irregular and long since you will take on jobs as and when they come. Alastair Wallace of Sameday in the Bolton area described a typical scenario in his day,
"I went to bed early as I had to be up at 3.00am to make a pick up. Then of course the phone rang at 10.30pm and I had to take it as it was another job." Alastair didn't get home until 6pm the next day - 15 hours and 500 miles later.
Not everyday will be like this. But as Alastair says, you have to be making the effort to find jobs all the time and this means taking all calls as well as making them.
You have to be the sort of person who is prepared to put a lot in. You need to be very focused on customer service and, if applicable, on instilling this in your drivers. Managerial skills or experience of running your own business could also be invaluable.
Adrian Waite is the franchise development manager for the Fastway UK master franchise. He says that, based on the Australian model, "Franchisees really have to want to be in business for themselves with good people skills - both courier and master regional franchisees need to be out going." So a good first impression is everything.