Paul Stafford of the British Franchise Association highlights 10 reasons why you should become a franchisee
Good franchise opportunities offer a proven business format with initial and continuing support. Franchisees operate under the brand and business system a franchisor has developed and proven in the marketplace. They also 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 people. Here are just 10 of the 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 a statistically safer route to self-employment - 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 throughout the recent economic 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 have the support of the wider network - other franchisees, all pulling in the same direction, offer 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, which is known by people either locally or nationally, giving 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-toconsumer 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, while 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.
Every kind of background is respected in the sector and because the opportunities are diverse, there’s something suitable for everyone.
However, 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.