Franchising is more than just fast food outlets. Sure, they contribute a lot to the overall sector, but the common misconception is that franchising is quite a narrow industry only focusing on certain sectors. Below, CEO Today hears on this subject from Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, who explains why the future is driven in franchising.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The breadth of the industry is staggering – from pet grooming services, to oven cleaning, courier services to home care, there is a franchise there for everyone’s passion. There’s a reason why Small Business also showcases the benefits of franchising.
Adding well in excess of £15 billion per annum to the economy, employing in excess of 700,000 people and offering a plethora of working environments suitable for every need, as shown in the bfa NatWest Franchise Survey, the industry continues to grow and provide more opportunities.
Pam Gordon, a Franchise Development & Recruitment Consultant with The Franchising Centre, has over 20 years’ experience working in the franchising industry. She explains why franchising can be such a viable option for people looking to become a business owner, stating: “Many prospective franchisees are often they are at a crossroads in their lives, sometimes redundancy, needing to make a change for family commitments or simply wanting to do something different in their careers. Franchising is a great career choice as it provides an opportunity and framework to move into a sector they have no experience in, as the franchisor trains and supports them to understand it. What a prospective franchisee should take the time to do is to look at their skills set and interests which will help them to focus on which franchise might be right for them. A franchise can allow someone to forge a different path in their working lives, to have control of their time and also build a business.”
Here are just five reasons, out of hundreds, why you should consider investing in a franchise.
A new career
While it is important to a franchisor that you are the right fit for the franchise, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need direct experience of that specific business, or even the sector. Franchising offers many different models, and most have training programmes, workshops and bootcamps. Most jobs in your career history will provide you with transferable skills that you can apply to running your own business. Franchisors look for people with drive and entrepreneurial spirit. They want to know that your goals align with theirs and the vision of the company. A perk of franchising is that it offers the opportunity to start afresh, and go in a direction you might not have thought possible.
Franchising is a business concept that has been around for decades, and has continuously seen profitability year on year. According to the 2015 bfa/Natwest report, franchising in the UK has continuously seen well in excess of 90% of franchisees being profitable. This is significantly higher that non-franchised small businesses, where the failure is as high as 91 percent in its first year. Franchising offers business models that are proven to work. They have already made mistakes and refined the system, allowing others to join and expand upon the successes traits of the enterprise.
A lot of franchises are recognised brands and carry a lot of weight with their name and product/service. It is reassuring to buy a business that is established and has an extended reach, as it allows you to get a head start. People tend to go with recognised brands as they will trust the product/service and its quality, and as a franchisee you know that you won’t be building up brand awareness from scratch.
A network of encouragement
One of the joys of franchising is the networking opportunities and wealth of advice and support. Joining a franchise means you enter a welcoming community of people who have gone through similar experiences to you and are willing to lend a helping hand when needed. You can bypass problems with the shared knowledge of franchisees that you might not have done if you started your own business. Any difficulties you are going through are most likely shared, and by combining resources, knowledge and ideas, it will reduce any risk factors.
Whether you start your own business or join a franchise, you will gain back control over your own career. You can decide your own hours and fit in the business to your schedule. However, you get out of a business what you put in, so know that owning a franchise doesn’t automatically bring success and money. Hard work and commitment are required to own and operate a successful business. It will be rewarding to set personal goals and hit those targets, and being recognised for those accomplishments.