Franchises exist across a broad range of different industries, from communications, property and gyms, to cleaning companies and restaurants. If you’re interested in becoming a franchisee then it’s worth spending a little time researching the industries that interest you most, or those that you have some experience in or knowledge of.
There are almost unlimited UK franchise opportunities , many of which might marry with your particular interests that are worth exploring. You can do this simply by looking through one of the many current UK franchise directories online. A useful starting point might be to investigate some of the UK’s biggest franchises.
The UK franchise industry is thriving. The British Franchise Association documents an annual industry turnover of £15.1bn* with 901* franchisor brands and 44,200* franchisee outlets operating between them in 2015.
With the autonomy of being self-employed coupled with access to the commercial expertise of the brand, franchising is attractive to employers who provide jobs for over half a million* staff.
Twenty years ago the franchise industry had an annual turnover a third of the size of the current day and represented just 379 different brands. *
It can be useful to begin looking at franchise options by examining some of the biggest and most successful models on the high street, which include restaurants and coffee shops such as KFC, McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Starbucks. The UK’s biggest franchises extend beyond restaurants and coffee shops into gym brands like Anytime Fitness, and beauty brands like The Body Shop.
While the franchisee takes on the financial set up costs as a storeowner, they can also yield the benefits that an established brand can bring, such as the name, identity, plus the company’s on-going support. Read our article All you need to know about becoming a franchisee for further insight.
Whatever industry or franchise you are interested in, it’s first worth checking if they have accreditation from the British Franchise Association, The BFA is a voluntary self-regulatory UK body for the franchise sector. Being a member means the franchise adheres to UK ethical franchising practice.
It’s not always necessary to buy into a big-name franchise. There are many smaller and medium-sized franchises you can become involved with too, from cleaning companies and juice bars to massage companies and dog day-care. The kind of business you want to run may depend upon your lifestyle requirements and how many staff you are willing to take on. For example, a work from home franchise might fit well around family life or other responsibilities. Search an online UK franchise directory to further research the industry and scale of business that suits you.
Setting up a franchise is not often as straightforward as popping by an existing branch and quietly sliding into the position of owner with everything already set up. There is an initial and on-going financial outlay in exchange for the benefits of making an established brand your own business.
As with any business, there are start up costs and these will differ depending upon the nature of the business, and the business liabilities, such as vehicles, staffing and property.
Beyond the franchise fee, which is the amount you pay for joining and using the name, logo, product and services, costs will also cover the required stock and equipment, training and marketing, launch costs, vehicle, property and staff costs. Don’t forget costs associated with subscriptions, memberships and licences too.
As a minimum, you can expect to invest in a franchise either with your own private resources or with a business loan, to which you are likely to be expected to contribute.
You can find more information about the likely investment requirements on the British Franchise Association website .
A number of UK franchise companies are listed in online directories such as Franchise Direct . Here you can search franchises by sector, location and the extent of the capital you are willing to invest.
Of course, financial outlay is not the only investment required of any business commitment. All businesses, whether or not they’re established brands, require time, energy and commitment in exchange for the inevitable payoffs hard work yields.
Visit our new Content Hub article, buying a franchise: Tips for first-timers for everything you need to know about your first foray into franchises.