Scottish Franchise Week, 30 April – 4 May 2012

Scottish franchising has continued to show an outstanding level of tenacity during the last few years of economic uncertainty. Over a period where many businesses have closed their doors and unemployment has increased, the franchising industry in Scotland has maintained an impressive number of businesses and provided an important contribution to the economy.

The British Franchise Association (bfa) Scottish Franchise Week celebrates this impressive record for franchising in Scotland, but also looks to promote the future opportunities that the industry may bring.

Sponsored by Lloyds TSB, Scottish Franchise Week delivers a variety of events. Each event is designed to help support people at different stages, or in varying roles, in franchising. Additionally, the biggest event of the week, The Scottish Franchise Business Breakfast, helps promote the success stories of franchising and the important benefits that Scotland gains from a healthy franchise industry.

Today Scotland hosts approximately 450 different franchising brands, which are delivered through 2,400 locally owned franchise businesses. This provides some significant benefits to the Scottish economy; namely 36,000 stable jobs and £800 million in revenue.

To put this in perspective, 20 years ago Scotland hosted 183 franchise brands through 490 locally owned franchise businesses. At that point it was employing 12,600 people and generating in the region of £120 million.

Although in the last four years many economic sectors have shrunk, franchising in Scotland has remained at a consistent level. What is even more impressive is that franchising right across the UK has also maintained a profitability level of 90 per cent. This explains why many people, who have been made redundant or want to start a business, but fear the risk levels, look to franchising.

As franchising in Scotland has grown it has allowed new people to open their own businesses under the training, guidance and support of a franchisor, who has already proven that the business works and can now teach this successful recipe to others. This formula of a locally owned and run enterprise, driven by a small business owner, with branding, economies of scale and support from the wider network, not only gives the business a far greater chance of success, but also means that owning and running your own business is open to many more people across the country.

At a time when new business start-ups, new jobs and sustainability are all in great demand, franchising is an industry that can deliver the results. However, what must also be understood next to the many success stories is what lies behind the stability; why the system work; and why it delivers such sustainable levels of success.

A franchise will not be suitable for everyone. Not every business can be franchised. A franchise is not risk-free.

Franchising has maintained such a strong position because businesses have worked hard to build their brands into assets that they need to protect. This means that any good franchisor will not accept anyone as a franchise owner just because they have a pulse and a chequebook. Franchising is about replicating a successful formula well. It's about enthusiastic people, who are conscientious about their businesses and their reputation. It’s a partnership between franchisors who are protecting their business and supporting the franchise owners, with the franchise owners enthused to make the business succeed because success links directly with their own personal wealth, pride and achievement.

One of the major aspects of Scottish Franchise Week is about this fact – that franchising only works well when it is delivered correctly. The bfa’s role in helping prospective franchise owners identify the good from the bad is an important one and a role that naturally links with the promotion of those member companies which have all passed the bfa’s strict criteria for membership.

Time and again franchising has proven itself to be a more successful and more robust way to start your own business, but it will not be for everyone. What is vital is to take the time to properly research the market, the brands and the commitments you would be signing up to.

Events during the week

There’s a range of events and activities featured at Scottish Franchise Week 2012, and we’ve put together a day-by-day guide to what’s on:

Tuesday 1 May
Golf Day

This year’s Golf Day takes place at the prestigious The Duke’s St Andrews golf course. Set above St Andrews, The Duke’s course provides fantastic panoramic views over the surrounding countryside right down to the sea. The Duke’s is regarded as one of the finest heathland courses in the UK and is a ‘must play’ for any golfer.

Wednesday 2 May
Specialist Seminar – Developing Network Growth

This is a free seminar for bfa members focusing on strategies that can help you grow your franchise network; finding the right franchise owners for your business and then providing them with ongoing support and encouragement can have a major impact on future growth and success.

The seminar will take you through key considerations to help both you and your franchise owners. A comprehensive day-long agenda features presentations from franchise industry experts on topics including:

  • Online franchisee recruitment
  • Understanding personal profiles
  • Local Marketing
  • The importance of strong banking relationships

The day will also include an interactive discussion aimed at helping you establish the key elements you feel you should adopt in your business following Scottish Franchise Week.

An Evening of Food and Fun

An evening dedicated to celebrating franchising in Scotland, taking place at Hummingbird in Glasgow. The festivities begin at 7.30 pm and include drinks and a buffet dinner.

Please not that attendance at this event is by pre-booking only. See the bfa website for details.

Thursday 3 May
Scottish Franchise Business Breakfast

The breakfast remains the key event of the week, bringing together the franchise industry, business experts and the media to highlight the importance of franchising in Scotland. This year’s breakfast will take place at the Hilton Glasgow and will feature a keynote speech from former Olympic and World Championship medal-winning athlete Roger Black.

Regularly attracting in the region of 300 attendees, The Scottish Franchise Business Breakfast has firmly established itself as a significant event in the franchising calendar. It provides an ideal opportunity to network with industry professionals, entertain clients or simply relax with peers and colleagues.

Prospective Franchisor Seminar, Glasgow

Free to attend for Scottish residents, this bfa educational seminar is for prospective franchisors, those business owners with an existing business considering expansion using the franchise model. The seminar is designed to help you decide if franchising is right for your business, and aid your understanding of the key components of developing a successful franchise operation.

Friday 4 May
Prospective Franchisee Seminar, Glasgow

Also free for residents of Scotland is the bfa’s seminar for prospective franchise owners – those looking to join an existing franchise. This seminar helps interested parties understand franchising and the key considerations to keep in mind, both in regards to the franchise as well as their own circumstances, when exploring the opportunities that becoming a franchise owner offers.

Text provided by Tom Endean from the British Franchise Association