Paul Stafford
Paul Stafford

Member Article

Why you should be considering franchising

In the current economic climate many people are looking to start their own business as a way to take charge of their future, and one sector that can help is bucking national economic trends. The increasing popularity of franchising has seen the industry increase its turnover by £1bn to £13.4bn in 2011, representing 8% annual growth during a year in which UK GDP increased by only 0.8%. So what makes franchising such an enticing choice for those wanting to run their own business?

Business statistics highlight the advantages of the franchising model: up to half of all SME start-ups are widely said to fail within 12 months, and around half again within a further two years; by contrast, less than 5% of franchise businesses suffer a similar fate annually, a figure that has remained consistent for many years, including right the way through the recession.

Combine this with 91% of franchisees reporting profitability in the latest annual survey into franchising, a figure which has remained at a similar level since the turn of the century, and you have an impressive, sustained period of success, and compelling incentives for anyone thinking about starting a business or taking on a new business challenge.

The crucial early weeks and months of developing a business amplify the benefits inherent in franchising. A franchise comes with a system and brand that works, and establishing a brand can be one of the biggest challenges in making a business successful. Franchising provides the security of a proven business system, a protected brand, ongoing support from the wider network and an already-developed operation which has been ‘tried and tested’ in the marketplace. As franchisees are working under an established trading name, they are able to focus their efforts on developing their own business and customer base.

Buying into an ethical franchise also means buying into an array of training and support packages created and run by the franchisor, and access to developmental training packages to support the business as it expands. This support allows franchisees to start out and grow from a position of complete preparedness.

If you’re thinking about franchising, then remember three things when you start out: research, research, research. Ensure that you’re taking plenty of time and care to select an opportunity that’s right for you, with a franchisor that will give you all the support they should be. The British Franchise Association (bfa) accredits franchisors using a stringent set of criteria based on business practice, operational procedures, franchisee support and the European Code of Ethics for Franchising. All members are listed on the bfa’s website at www.thebfa.org/members to allow prospective franchisees to check which brands have passed this process.

Anyone going into business for themselves needs dedication, tenacity, a hard-work ethic, passion and the support of family and/or friends if they are to prevail. If you can combine these skills with the support and advantages of franchising, then you give yourself every chance of becoming a very successful business owner.

Franchising presents a variety of possibilities across an eclectic mix of industries so there is something for everyone. For inspiration and much more on how franchising could work for you, visit the bfa’s website www.thebfa.org.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul Stafford .

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