Peter Boolkah. Business Coach.

Member Article

Redundancy in older workers means boom time for franchises.

‘Unemployment has continued to rocket among older workers with another 107,000 over-50s made redundant during the latest lockdown.’ reports the Telegraph.

Business coach Peter Boolkah says this makes now a boom time for franchises. “Mass redundancy happens in an economic downturn as we are seeing and the older end of the workforce is traditionally hit harder. People in their 50’s and 60’s may be up against a cheaper younger workforce, your options become limited. This is when many start to consider working for themselves. Franchises are often seen as a safer bet depending on the industry.”

The number of franchises have more than doubled in 25 years. Currently, there are around 48,000 franchise businesses in the UK. The Franchise Industry contributes £15 Billion to the UK economy - an increase of 46% over the past 10 years. The total number of people employed within franchising has now reached 621,000 - an increase of 70% over the past 10 years.

Essex based Peter Boolkah is known as The ‘Transition Guy’. The business coach helps to scale up businesses and help entrepreneurs change and grow in both their personal and professional lives. He was born into a low income mixed race family in East Ham. He started off working for arguably the biggest franchise in the world - McDonalds, cleaning the kitchens. 18 years later he had worked his way up to operations manager. After leaving he had a stint owning his own restaurant. He then returned to franchises and bought his own. He is now one of the most sought after business coaches in the world and part of the Forbes coaching council.

“Franchises give people a business framework. You get an established brand, business model and way of doing business. Instead of starting from scratch you are basically buying a system that you then implement. Working for yourself is the dream. You own the territory, you own your business.”

But there are risks. “Just because you buy a business franchise, it doesn’t mean you have a business. You should always consider the scalability of the franchise, the potential growth.”

Peter also believes that not all businesses make good franchises and that you should try and work out the business owners reason for franchising. It may be to raise more capital to expand into a new market. Tim Horton’s is a Canadian based fast food/patisserie franchise. They are breaking into the UK market and looking for franchisees.

“You’d need a considerable amount of money to take on a franchise like Tim Hortons” says Boolkah. “The landscape has changed due to covid, We can work from home quite successfully so people are moving away from cities and into rural areas where they have more space. Those areas don’t have the amount of drive through restaurants per square mile that the cities have. One could argue there is a definite market there and that sort of franchise could be successful.”

The International Franchise Association estimates over 26,000 franchised locations will be added in 2021. It also projects franchise employment to grow by more than 10% to nearly 8.3 million workers. Of the nearly 800,000 expected new jobs, many will come in the retail, food and services sectors. It looks like franchises have weathered the storm.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .

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