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Franchise Advice


F


ranchising has grown consistently for several years, with a sustained increase in the number of brands using the model, the


number of franchisees starting their own business, and the turnover and employment generated by those franchisees.


There are nearly 45,000 franchisee-owned businesses in the UK, collectively contributing over £15billion to the economy in 2015 (the bfa is confident that this will continue to grow beyond 2016/2017).* Employing over 620,000 people, the sector grew by 70 per cent between 2005 and 2015. Good franchise opportunities offer a proven business format with initial and continuing support. Franchisees operate under the brand and business system that a franchisor has developed and proven in the marketplace, and 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 – they have invested in the systems and are 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 backup from the wider brand and network, has been the favoured route to self-employment for many.


Here are 10 reasons highlighting just why that is the case for so many franchisees:


1. The business format is proven – someone else has shown that there is a market and a profit to be made


2. Systems and procedures are in place to provide guidance on all aspects of running the business


3. The major banks are very supportive of good franchising – they like the available historical trading data (of other franchisees), so finance is available for franchisees of reputable brands 4. It’s statistically a safer route to self-employment:


for more than 20 years consecutively, around 90 per cent of franchisees have reported profitability and less than five per cent of franchisee-owned businesses have closed through commercial failure. Those trends held true right through the recent downturn


5. 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


6. You also have the support of the wider network – other franchisees – all pulling in the same direction and offering each other advice, tips and personal experience of how to overcome business challenges


7. Marketing support is usually substantial, and a franchise comes with an established brand, which is known by people either locally or nationally, giving you a loyal customer base from day one


8. 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


9. The choice of business sectors is diverse. Both B2B and B2C options are in abundance and there are a vast array of well-known brands alongside those that are newer to the sector


10. Franchising is open to all: for example, younger franchisees are valued for their ideas, enthusiasm and drive, and benefit from the support on offer; older ones are valued for their experience and skillsets built up over time. The proportion of female franchisees is well above the national business ownership average, and rising. Every kind of background is respected in the sector, and because the opportunities are diverse, there’s something suitable for most people


It is very important to remember that running any business takes a lot of hard work, commitment and a whole heap of passion – and running a franchise is absolutely no different – but these advantages make it an attractive option for prospective business owners. n


The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector. Franchise businesses must pass a standards-based accreditation before they can become a bfa member.


110 | The Franchise Magazine 2017


*All statistics sourced from the bfa/ NatWest Franchise Survey 2015


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