Franchising looks set to thrive in 2019, Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, says
It was an amazing year for franchising in 2018. With the latest British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey showing growth in almost every region and more people employed in franchising since 2015, franchising truly is flourishing.
The new year is typically the time when people make big life changing decisions, which regularly includes a career evaluation and the possibility of moving into something else. At the bfa, we want to make sure these people consider becoming franchisees.
According to the 2018 bfa NatWest franchise survey, the UK franchising industry has grown by over £2 billion since 2015. And even with economic uncertainties around the corner, franchisees feel buoyant about their businesses. No matter what the outcome, franchising will not just survive, but thrive.
Year of the woman
I’ve been part of some wonderful events this year, from the bfa HSBC awards and the launch of Super Brands, to organising and attending one of our flagship events, Empowering Women in Business.
More women than ever are going into business for themselves and our survey stats prove this. An increasing amount of new franchisees over the past two years have been female - more than ever before - and over half of people employed within the franchising industry are women.
I’m proud to be in an industry that champions women in the workplace, allowing a better work-life balance and the opportunity to fulfil professional ambitions. I’m confident this will continue into 2019, with more minorities being represented and a diverse range of voices heard.
What has also been good to see is the huge increase in young people becoming franchisees.
With such vast entrepreneurial opportunities available, it’s not surprising to see a growing interest in what franchising has to offer. I hope to see more young people owning small businesses and kick-starting their futures.
Time to franchise in Scotland
Nearly all of the UK has shown significant growth, except for Scotland, which has seen a decrease in implied annual turnover from franchising. Here lies an opportunity for franchisors to increase their portfolios and franchisees to kick-start growth in the country.
The bfa holds Scottish Franchise Week every year in order to bring together the best and brightest and provide a platform for people to see what franchising opportunities are available.
For 2019, I hope to develop franchise activity in Scotland and firmly believe this anomaly will turn out to be a positive.
All signifiers show that franchising is on the up, with a steady trajectory that looks like it will continue.
The bfa will do its part to champion the sector and make a noise about the fundamental fact franchising is ahead of the wider business world in terms of growth, mindset and development.