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Franchise or independent start-up? Why you should buy a tried and tested brand

Franchise or independent start-up? Why you should buy a tried and tested brand

Becoming a franchisee has numerous advantages over setting up on your own

In recent months the UK has seen a big increase in redundancies and unemployment.

When unemployment rises, it’s not uncommon to see growth in the number of people starting their own business as a way to take control of their future. But what options are available to you?

You could set up independently or buy a franchise. But before you make your choice, there are many issues to consider.

Tried and tested

With a traditional business startup, you have to come up with a concept you feel will work in a competitive market. And in order to survive, you must understand the industry you intend to go into. With a franchise, you’re using a business model and selling a product or service that has been tried and tested by the franchisor in a sector it may already be well established in.

Chances of success

Being your own boss gives you free rein over your business, without the pressure of a predefined structure. Once up and running, you can refine your offering as you see fit or alter the structure of your business, which is not something you can do with a franchise.

The restrictions imposed on franchisees may put some people off, but is this notion so bad? While you’ll be required to use the proven business model defined by the franchisor, you can be sure it has been stress tested until a robust formula has been found, which gives you a greater chance of success.

Support structure

This is where franchising comes into its own. From day one, a franchisee is given the support they need to start and grow their business.

The owner of an independent entity, on the other hand, will not have this expert assistance on tap - or may not be able to afford it.

Financial assistance

The support you receive with a franchise also goes down well with the banks.

The major institutions are more supportive of a good franchise compared to an independent start-up, so are more likely to lend to the former than the latter. They view franchises as strong and robust, which means less financial risk for them.

Whether you choose to set up on your own or invest in one of the hundreds of franchises in operation in the UK, one thing is for certain: you’ll need to be committed to the task of being your own boss.

If you have the right attitude, you’re almost certain to reap the rewards of your hard work.

The author

Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association.

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