Serious business offering serious opportunities
According to the 2015 bfa Natwest Franchise Survey 621,000 people were employed in the UK franchise industry, an uplift from the 561,000 reported in 2013, and that is not including the 20,500 franchise owners. This figure is expected to rise again as we await the latest results. Having worked in the industry for 6 years it has become quite clear as to why Franchising has established a strong position in the UK economy.
Mutually and financially beneficial
Proven businesses are looking to expand their customer base, service more people and increase brand awareness. Entrepreneurial people are looking for an opportunity to build a business and become their own boss. Add franchising to the mix and you get motivated franchise owners that are provided with the tools to start their own business, coupled with ample support from experts that understand how to make that business work. As franchise owners invest, the network grows, the franchise brand becomes widely recognised and the entire franchise network reaps the rewards. The franchisor business sits at the heart of this growth. They become the brand protector, the market researcher, the product and service developer. But most importantly continually invest in the evolution of the system to ensure franchisees have the best opportunities in the market whilst the franchisees can focus on building their consumer base. This is a perfectly balanced partnership providing valuable opportunities for people to grow considerable business assets.
Business development opportunities are plentiful
There are fantastic examples across the industry of people that have made a commitment to franchising and are benefitting as a result. It is not unusual for employees of franchisors to eventually be offered the opportunity to own a franchise themselves. It is also very common that successful franchisees are provided the opportunity to expand their territory to further build their business and team. More recently we are seeing a huge spike in franchisees that have structured a centralised support team with systems enabling them to invest in a large number of franchise opportunities. These multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees are building significant portfolios and are proving that franchising is definitely NOT small business. And franchise businesses are not just for the short term, a typical franchise agreement is 5 years with a right to renew in most cases. However, many franchise business owners are staying in franchising for 10 to 20 years or longer and have next generation exit plans enabling family members to continue building the business.
People and passion are at the heart
I have met many franchisors and professional advisors in the franchise industry and there are some common attributes which I feel makes the franchise community a wonderful place to be.
PASSION: People really believe in what they do and are motivated by the prospect of providing people with life changing business opportunities and guidance.
EXECUTION: Franchisors don’t just talk the talk, they have walked the walk and for that reason franchisee businesses have a much lower failure rate to startups with their franchisor’s support.
COMMUNICATION: Industry cross collaboration has provided many mentor orientated conversations with businesses committing to both educational development and supporting one another. This exists both amongst franchisor and franchisee peer groups.
SHARED VISION & GOALS: Critical in franchise recruitment and teams across the industry, the power of collective ambition is a perfect result of the franchise business model.
INTEGRITY: A compulsory ingredient to any strong business partnership which is key for both attracting talented business owners, motivating support teams and retaining customers.
Word of Warning
As Head of Operations at the British Franchise Association I am at the heart of franchise industry intelligence. I can tell you that the franchise industry is an inspiring place to be.
However, people do also suffer at the hands of unfortunate circumstances and misguidance. If I could make one recommendation it would be to get in touch, have a chat with us, as we can help you during your decision making processes as you look to enter the franchising industry. The British Franchise Association has a wealth of knowledge that can support you whether you are considering investing in business as a franchisee or franchisor. The best thing is that this advice is impartial, very low cost or FREE and the only interest we have is your success.
You can contact us at www.thebfa.org
The Future is Franchising is an expert series of fortnightly guidance articles by The British Franchise Association’s Head of Operations, Emily Price QFP. Each part will focus on an aspect of franchising and give key advice with the aim to give the reader more understanding and confidence in that area.
Emily Price QFP holds a strategic leadership role at the Association and is responsible for membership recruitment, member services and the Association’s external relations and marketing strategy; she regularly contributes to industry media and is responsible for relationship management of high profile and international stakeholders.