THERE ARE 10 COMPELLING REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A FRANCHISEE, PAUL STAFFORD OF THE BRITISH FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION SAYS
Franchising has grown consistently for several years, with sustained growth in the number of brands using the model, the number of franchisees starting their own business and the turnover and employment generated by those franchisees.
There are now some 40,000 franchisee-owned businesses in the UK, collectively contributing £13.7 billion to the economy in 2013 and employing over 560,000 people. The sector grew by 20 percent in the five years of economic downturn from 2008 onwards.
Good franchise opportunities offer a tried and tested business format with initial and continuing support. Franchisees operate under the brand and business system a franchisor has developed and proven in the marketplace and receive ongoing support to help build the business and, eventually, a capital asset that can be sold.
That ongoing support is one of the key reasons for the success of franchising. The franchisor has already gone through the pain of finding out what works and what doesn’t - it has invested in the systems and is now willing to teach franchisees how to replicate it.
The franchising formula of a locally owned and run enterprise, driven by a small business owner, with branding, economies of scale and back-up from the wider brand and network, has been the favoured route to self-employment for many. Here are 10 reasons why:
* The business format is proven - someone else has shown there is a market and a profit to be made.
* Systems and procedures are in place to provide guidance on all aspects of running the business.
* The major banks are very supportive of good franchising - they like the available historical trading data of other franchisees, so finance is readily available for franchisees of reputable brands.
* It’s statistically a safer route to selfemployment - for more than 20 years consecutively, around 90 per cent of franchisees reported profitability and less than five per cent of franchisee-owned businesses closed through commercial failure. Those trends held true right through the recent downturn.
* Initial training and ongoing support ensure you are ready to grow your business from the outset. Having head office expertise to call on at any time means any gaps in your knowledge, experience or confidence are filled.
* You also have the support of the wider network - other franchisees, all pulling in the same direction and offering each other advice, tips and personal experience of how to overcome business challenges.
* Marketing support is usually substantial and a franchise comes with an established brand that is known by people either locally or nationally, providing a loyal customer base from day one.
* You can build a capital asset, as well as being your own boss - you profit from the sale of the business you’ve grown when you’re ready.
* The choice of business sectors is wide and varied. Most people regularly use the services of a franchised business, even if they didn’t know it at the time. Both business-to-consumer and business-to-business options are in abundance and there are a vast array of well-known brands and those new to the sector that are looking for franchisees.
* Diversity - younger franchisees are welcomed for their ideas, enthusiasm and drive and benefit from the support provided; older ones are valued for their experience and significant skill sets. In addition, the proportion of female franchisees (30 per cent) is way above the national business ownership average and rising, while every kind of background is respected in the sector.
It’s important to remember that running any business takes hard work, commitment and passion - and a franchise is no different. But these advantages make it an attractive option for prospective business owners.