British Franchise Association: Break out & into franchising

Seeking to open up the possibility of franchising to the unaware and educate a wider audience, the British Franchise Association recently supported a number of franchising events

The latest research from the British Franchise Association (bfa) highlights that out of the 32 per cent of people polled who wanted to start their own business, 14 per cent are trying to escape the nine to five routine, 12 per cent want to spend more time with their family, 21 per cent would like to improve their lifestyle, and 55 per cent want to be their own boss. It seemed apt therefore that the theme for National Franchise Week 2006, which took place between 2nd-8th October, was 'Escape the 9 to 5'.

'Our research showed that while there is a desire for business start-up, many people are concerned about the risk of business failure and worried about accessing finance,' says Dan Archer, Head of Marketing at the bfa.

'This is where franchising plays a vital role in boosting the confidence of start-ups, as the nature of franchising is such that the risk of failure is significantly reduced as prospective franchisees operate a tried and tested system. The success rates associated with franchising can also lead to banks lending up to 70 per cent of the total capital requirements.'

'National Franchise Week, therefore, is an important part of the franchising calendar as it allows us to raise awareness of the benefits of the franchise model through events such as the Discover Franchising days and the Franchisee of the Year Awards, sponsored by HSBC and Express Newspapers. The National Franchise Exhibition acts as a climax to the week and is the ideal opportunity to talk to franchisors and get a real idea of the breadth of opportunity out there.'

This year, the bfa organised three Discover Franchising days in London, Manchester and Walsall in conjunction with Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). The events were free of charge and open to the public to learn about franchising and further advance enterprise in the regions. The partnership with the RDAs and the promotion around the week enabled the bfa to open up the possibility of franchising to the franchise unaware and educate a wider audience, as attendance levels at the educational Discover Franchising days approached 400 people.

The National Franchise Exhibition, which took place at the Birmingham NEC on 6th and 7th October, saw three-quarters of the exhibitors in bfa membership - a significant representation of ethical franchising at work, all under one roof. National Franchise Week 2006 was supported by: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Yell, HSBC, Express Newspapers, Daltons, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Black Country Partnership, Government of London and the London Development Agency.