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Why franchising is still the smart route to business ownership

Why franchising is still the smart route to business ownership

Even in these uncertain time, buying a franchise is a realistic option for people who want to be their own boss

Franchising has historically been a proven model to increase the chances of success when going into business for yourself. We know failure rates are under five per cent and have been for over 20 years.

In these uncertain times, however, let’s take a look at what has changed and whether becoming a franchisee could still work for you.

Resilience as a measure of success

Most companies are having a tough time right now, whether they’re operating a skeleton staff, temporarily closing doors or reinventing the way business is executed.

It’s during testing times like these that you, as a potential investor, will be able to see how franchisors support their franchisees. When you’re researching opportunities, ask franchisors about the impact of COVID-19 on their business. Find out how they have navigated the tricky landscape and use that to understand the drivers and overall ambition for the brand.

A problem shared is a problem halved

Franchising is a partnership and you’re definitely not going to be alone. Whether you work closely with the franchisor or invest in a brand where there is a strong community culture within the franchisee network, help and support will always be on hand. During your due diligence, be sure to ask both franchisors and franchisees about the structure of communications and support available.

Entrepreneurial sparks

If you have a natural entrepreneurial flare, now could be a good time to buy a franchise.

Franchisees are no different to any other small business owner and for some a pandemic may have meant it was time to part ways with their network and accelerate plans to exit their business.

This could present a good opportunity to inject new drive into a territory that’s for sale and execute on a reinvigorated business plan. You may also be able to join a network where the franchisor has recently adapted their model and is looking for new franchisees to collaborate with.

Maintaining a level of flexibility

For many, lockdown has meant life in general has slowed down. Families are more connected than ever and the little things are now what matter most.

If you’re reading this and want to maintain some of these elements in your working life, you’ll be pleased to know that franchising could be the answer. Whether you wish to work part-time, full-time, be service based or build a team, franchising provides these opportunities. All sectors are covered, so you should be able to find something that makes you tick.

Checks and measures matter

It’s important you use all the reference points available when making your investment decision.

The British Franchise Association operates a standards-based accreditation process for its membership, so it’s a great place to start your research. Visit thebfa.org and don’t forget to complete the free online franchisee certificate, which will give you an insight into the realities of becoming a franchisee.

The author

Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association

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