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Will a franchisor provide guidance on raising finance?
They certainly will, and all well-structured franchises have close relationships with the major banks, which have specialist franchise sections, notably RBS/NatWest, Lloyds TSB and HSBC. Historically, the banks have been very supportive of franchising, often offering better terms than they would to an independent start-up because they perceive franchisees to be far safer lending propositions. In the current financial climate things have changed, and the situation seems to change by the week. Although the banks claim ‘business as usual’, many franchisors are experiencing delays in approvals, a requirement for greater levels of security and requests for a more robust, demonstrable business plan than has perhaps been the case in the past. None of that is necessarily a bad thing, despite the temporary inconvenience that it may cause, because it should lead to a more considered, better planned entry into a franchise relationship for both franchisee and franchisor. Proper financial planning will lead to even safer, and more successful, franchise lending in the future. Banks may choose to stop supporting some franchisors, but there will usually be a good reason for that. Even if you don’t need finance to fund your franchise, always let your bank manager know what you are doing and use the advice that is available to him, through his franchise experts, to help with your decision.
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