Franchising in the UK employs more people than the combined armed forces and yet I would say franchising is neither a business nor an industry – rather it is a system.
Growth of franchising
Franchising is one of the fastest growing and probably the most successful business systems ever created for the sole purpose of distributing products and services to the marketplace.
Since its inception into the UK franchising has provided tremendous business opportunities to thousands of people and has created a breadth of business success throughout the UK.
As at end of 2013 there were almost 1,000 Franchisors employing over 1/2 million people, generating some £13 billion in turnover p.a.
There are extensive business opportunities in the world of franchising across a range of industries and across the widest cost base.
From printing to education services to food retailing; from garment alteration to sign making and from £5,000 to £300,000.
There literally is something for everyone.
Business for sale
Many of the longer established brands will have Franchise Owners who are looking to retire and so there are always a number of franchised businesses for sale which enables the buyer (for a higher cost) to get straight into running the business and generating an immediate and higher level of turnover.
That said the vast majority of people still prefer to identify their own business opportunities and start from scratch with their own franchise.
Service and support
If you were to start an independent business you would be responsible for everything in that business from sales to accounts, to advertising, to creating new products/services.
In a franchise the Franchisor provides a proven business system, a brand, trade marks,etc plus their experience and knowhow and a complete ‘back of house’ support structure – particularly in the areas of marketing, sales, procurement, finance etc.
In simple terms a franchise is a licence to operate another’s proven system.
However, the magic of franchising is that it ‘marries’ an individual’s skills, expertise and ambitions with the intellect, systems and resources of the brand.
So, what is franchising?
Franchising is very much a marriage where two parties (Franchisor and Franchisee) bring their different skills/experience together to achieve a common aim.
Like marriage franchising demands a degree of conformity yet also encourages individuality.
A successful franchisee will comply with the Franchisor’s business system but by doing so this will enable the franchisee to achieve self-fulfilment.
With franchising you really are ‘in business for yourself, but not by yourself’