The British Franchise Association has an abundance of information available for aspiring franchisees
Franchising offers a range of options for those looking to change careers. The scope of backgrounds of the people who come to the sector is one of the things that makes it so diverse and welcoming.
From the new parents looking for a way to build a better work-life balance and the ex-forces veterans starting a new life on Civvy Street to those who want to build a business empire, there’s something for everyone under the franchising umbrella and all are welcome.
However, for those venturing into this world for the first time, it can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? There are so many options, types of franchise and unfamiliar terms. And who is this ‘bfa’ everyone keeps talking about?
The first thing to know is that you’re not on your own in navigating this maze. There is a host of resources available to help you start to refine your thinking and drill down on the type of franchise that’s right for you.
The key thing to bear in mind from the off is that none of this works if it doesn’t work specifically for you - and what works for you is not an offthe- shelf formula. Your list of criteria for a franchise will be different from anyone else’s and that’s why it’s so important to ask yourself some questions before researching the options.
You need to be clear and honest about what is most important to you, when you think of yourself as a franchisee running a business.
Do you like working in an office or prefer being outdoors? Are you great at managing a team or better off working on your own? Are you good with your hands? Are you a trained professional with specific skills you can bring to the table, such as accounting or legal knowledge? What kind of budget do you have to buy a franchise?
Seeing what’s available
Once you have a good idea of the type of opportunity you’re looking for, it’s time to see what’s available.
A good place to start is the British Franchise Association website (thebfa.org). Here you’ll find a range of information that can help you build on your initial thoughts and get a good feel for what’s out there.
Accreditation with the bfa is an exhaustive process that focuses on standards, ethics and best practice, so if the business is listed with us you know you’re in good hands.
Ultimately, the bfa is a hub for expert information and advice. We also provide free online training and more involved ‘Buy a Franchise’ seminars for franchisees, which cover everything from developing a business plan through to legal considerations and raising finance.
The bfa is here to act as the trusted partner in franchising, for both franchisors and franchisees.
As a franchisee with a bfa member organisation, you would automatically qualify for free bfa franchisee membership as well. That would entitle you to access regular update newsletters and power hours, as well as support and industry representation.
Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association