Franchising is on the march and making great strides towards assuring that its businesses succeed. Statistics from the Natwest BFA survey 2018 illustrate the recent trend: there are over 900 franchise systems in the UK; over 48,600 franchise units employing over 710,000 people (an increase of 89,000 in 2 years); franchising contributes £17.2 billion to the UK economy – an increase of £2.1 billion in the previous 2 years; and crucially, 9 out of 10 franchised businesses succeed whereas 8 out of 10 non-franchised small businesses cease trading within their first 5 years of operation.
These figures are certainly impressive but, if you’re genuinely considering becoming a franchisee, it’s crucial that you choose a franchise which is right for you. There are some very good reasons to consider an ‘up-and-coming’ franchise, such as Choice Home Tutoring rather than a more established franchise brand. Here’s why:
You’ll receive special attention
New franchisors need their first crop of franchisees to be successful as this serves to attract future franchisees into their network. Initial franchisees are therefore given special attention and are supported as much as possible to ensure their success. In addition, the franchise manager for the initial crop of franchisees is likely to be the franchise founder(s) – who will know the business ‘inside-out’. Initial franchisees are therefore likely to receive a level of support that is superior to that provided by a franchise manager who is employed at a later stage as the network grows.
You can develop a strong bond with the founder(s)
When a franchise is young, you’re able to develop strong relationships with the founder and their initial team. This will not only benefit you in those early stages but may also be crucial further down the line. As the network grows, your voice will more likely to be heard due to the bond you will have developed with the founders.
You’re in business for yourself but not by yourself
Setting up a business by yourself can be a hugely daunting experience. As already indicated, the failure rate of doing so is significantly higher than starting up a franchised business where success is much more likely due to you being in business for yourself but not by yourself. Operational support for franchisees, particularly in an up-and-coming franchise, is paramount for a shrewd and attentive franchisor – you will never feel as though you’re on your own.
You can hand-pick your territory
Given the high number of available territories that a young franchise offers, you’ll be able to operate your new business wherever you like – ideally around your home location. There’ll also be scope to reserve surrounding territories for future expansion of your business. Such opportunities are much less likely in more established franchises where fewer locations are available.
You can contribute to a young and growing business
As one of the initial franchisees, you’ll be in a position to contribute your own ideas to many of the early decisions and initiatives which you wouldn’t be able to do in a more developed franchise. Being there from the start and seeing the franchise grow into a successful business can not only be a real source of inspiration but can also offer opportunities for you to play a future part in the central business such as managing new franchisees.
Do your research
Despite the continuing success of franchising and the safety net it provides for new businesses, it’s crucial that you carry out your own research, compare franchises and ensure that you choose the right one for you (which may not necessarily be an up-and-coming franchise). Also bear in mind that you could be working with your potential franchisor for a number of years so you must ensure that you get a good feel for them as an individual. Tick these boxes however and your business will have every chance of succeeding. Good luck!