Investing in a franchise as part of a team can overcome some of the difficulties inherent in going into business with a friendly face by your side, the British Franchise Association says
The £13.7 billion franchise industry has grown continually during the last five years of tough economic conditions, in no small part because its model of supported business ownership provides franchisees with the back-up of both head office and the wider franchise network.
Some entrepreneurs are taking advantage by adding in another layer of help - taking on a franchise in conjunction with a business partner. That might be a husband and wife team, parents and children, siblings going into business together or simply friends with a shared interest and desire to take on their own venture.
Whatever the situation, the draw of investing in a franchise as part of a duo or team can overcome some of the difficulties inherent in going into business with a friendly face by your side.
Of course, the success to be found in franchising does not automatically mean you can start a business with your partner and live happily ever after. Hard work, dedication and a professional approach are all still required in abundance. However, many of the stresses put upon the relationship are removed with the proven model provided by a good franchise:
* It can be difficult for friends and families to put into practice a good business plan, as they can spend more time generating ideas than implementing them. With a franchise, you can cut short the ‘dreaming stage’ and get down to making the business work, rather than worrying and arguing about the fundamental start-up decisions, as the brand is already established and all the aspects needed to get started are set up for you.
* When entering into a family/friend business partnership, the tendency might be to neglect formalities, which can causes problems later on in the relationship if conflicts arise. With a franchise, these formalities are already in place. Having a franchise agreement and operations manual to work from gives you and your partner an arrangement to follow. Having straightforward black and white guidelines saves many awkward decisions having to be made.
* Financially sharing the burden of starting a franchise can make opportunities available that would otherwise be out of reach for you as an individual investor. In addition, banks are also more likely to finance a franchise than an independent start-up business, due to the robust business plan and trading figures available from other franchisees. Sufficient capital from the off can help avoid financial headaches later.
* Different skill sets can mesh together perfectly. Perhaps one of you has a background in sales and marketing, while the other is an immaculate administrator - a great fit for a business partnership that also increases your ability to impress a franchisor with what you will bring to the table collectively.
* While there are no guarantees, statistically franchising is a safer way to run your own business. 20-year trends show around 90 per cent of franchisees report profitability each year and less than four per cent close through commercial failure
Going into business with someone else provides that extra edge when generating ideas, additional motivation and a more diverse range of business skills. Franchising helps push these factors forward, as it is already a working businesses structure - it could be the perfect way to mix business with pleasure and take charge of your own professional lives.