You can turn your business dreams into reality by investing in one of the many tried and tested franchises currently operating in the UK, Paul Stafford of the British Franchise Association says
It’s a common story in January: after reflecting on the year just passed, thoughts turn towards the coming 12 months and how things are going to be different. New Year’s resolutions often take the form of healthier eating, visits to the gym, keeping in better touch with friends - and changing career paths.
As a result, every January sees a surge in entrepreneurial thinking, with more people consideringstarting up their own business, fuelled by a desire to be their own boss, work doing something they love and take charge of their own professional life. In a still delicate jobs market, that’s an even more compelling thought.
Of course, all too often by the time February and March come around the dreams have been shelved and it’s business as usual. But what if this year was different and it was the perfect time to run your own business, to do something you love, to be your own boss and set the pace, reap your own rewards?
And what if there was a way to do that, but with the back-up and support that gives you the confidence, skills and training necessary to be successful?
That’s exactly what franchising can do for you. You own and run your own business, but with initial and ongoing training and support packages in place from somebody who has tested the market, proved their concept works, has established their brand and is showing you the pathway to replicate that success for yourself.
If you prefer stats to make a case, there are plenty of those too. Annually, for the last 20 years consecutively the British Franchise Association/ NatWest franchise survey shows around 90 per cent of franchisees have reported a profit and less than five per cent of franchise businesses have closed through commercial failure. That’s particularly impressive when it’s widely reported that around half of independent small and medium-sized enterprises close within three years of starting up.
Buckling national trends
Add that to the numbers regarding the franchise industry’s performance since 2008, when the UK economy began to struggle, particularly in terms of employment and growth, and you can see the ability of the sector to buck national trends and turn business dreams into business reality. In that time frame franchising has created well over 100,000 jobs, increased its turnover by 20 per cent to £13.7 billion and the number of franchisee businesses has risen to almost 40,000.
In addition, it’s a long time since franchising was the expansion model of choice for only global catering brands and fast food chains - though they’re still here too. There’s now a myriad of businesses and sectors to choose from for prospective franchisees, covering everything from web design, children’s activities and gardening services through to letting agents, domestic cleaning and mobile products and services of all descriptions. Whatever your passion, there’s likely to be a franchise for you.
So in 2015, perhaps there are no more excuses to stop that entrepreneurial spirit from lasting more than a month or two. If you dream of business ownership and determining your own future, take a look into franchising. It might be the best resolution you make this year. MM