The British Franchise Association: Guide Yourself to Success

Dan Archer reveals how the British Franchise Association can help franchisees on their route to success

There is no shortage of choice in franchising when it comes to finding an industry that suits your needs and aspirations. The biggest problem faced by those coming to franchising for the first time, is knowing where to start their search and how to go about navigating their way through the maze of information out there.

The decision to invest in a franchise is an important one. You will need as much information at your fingertips as you can get in order to evaluate your suitability and the potential franchises you may be interested in running for yourself. But if you are in full-time employment and time to attend an educational workshop or seminar is scarce, learning about franchising at your own leisure and when appropriate for you will be a vital part of the due diligence process.

The British Franchise Association (bfa) recognises the need of prospective franchisees for personal study of franchising and has put together a comprehensive guide pack. The guide packs give a structured approach that helps establish whether a franchise is right for your circumstances. They aim to improve people's understanding of franchising and help them decide if an opportunity is fair, ethical and right for them.

The bfa franchisee guide pack, which is sponsored by Lloyds TSB, has been proven over many years to be an invaluable resource for those seeking to better understand franchising. One in four people investigating franchising buys a guide pack, and when you consider the wealth of sound franchising understanding that is conveniently boxed to form the guides, it is easy to see why.

There are many sources of information on franchising including websites, books, DVDs and magazines. Where the bfa guide packs are unique is in offering all of this information in one place. They include content such as:

  • How to Evaluate a Franchise by Martin Mendelsohn
  • A copy of The Complete Ethics of Franchising
  • The bfa DVD Your Introduction to Franchising
  • Copies of established franchise magazines
  • A full list of bfa franchisor and affiliate members

The bfa has also produced a guide pack for prospective franchisors looking to franchise their own business. The guide pack is full of relevant information and advice for anyone looking to grow their business through franchising and wanting to carry out their research at their own pace.

For prospective franchisees and franchisors, it is also important to carry out thorough research on the franchise market and the industries you may be interested investing in. An ideal way of doing this is by referring to the annual bfa/NatWest UK Franchise Survey, which contains the latest statistics on franchising in the UK including:

  • Industry size and dynamics including turnover, employment and future expectations
  • Character of franchising in the UK - top performing sectors; growth areas, progress and prospects; regional distribution of franchising
  • Profile characteristics of franchisees which includes characteristics looked for by franchisors, the ideal profile of a franchisee applicant and action taken prior to acquiring a franchise
  • Report and analysis of franchise charges including franchise fees, start-up costs and recurring franchise costs
  • Franchisee performance data and analysis including franchise fees, start-up costs and recurring franchise costs
  • Essential information on marketing, recruitment, new business opportunities, network growth and performance.

Now in its 22nd year, this survey is the most established and reliable source for data on franchising trends.