Franchising: Recommended for redundancies

The British Franchise Association is sending out the message: if you're facing redundancy then franchising could be the next step for you

The last few months have seen numerous businesses announce redundancies, adding to the increasing number of unemployed within the UK economy. As these redundancies are happening however, businesses are being offered new sources of help and advice to educate their staff about their next steps.

In the latter part of 2008 the British Franchise Association (bfa) started to write to numerous businesses which were announcing redundancies, and continues to do so today. It is a way of offering help and advice to employees that may be looking at franchising as their next career step.

Many people will be looking at taking control of their future by considering the option of starting a business, but with the risks involved and today's market the option may be quickly discounted. By highlighting franchising as an option, the risk can be drastically reduced and starting your own business can become more of a reality again.

However, it is not just about telling people to buy a franchise, but properly informing them about all the considerations that need to be made. It is vital, that the franchise networks continue to bring on franchisees that are suitable for the business and contribute to the industry in a positive and professional manner.

Although lenders are more risk adverse and consumers are more reserved in their spending, feedback from across the bfa membership continues to show high interest in buying franchises. This shows that despite the gloom and doom seen in the media, franchising remains strong with many networks seeing fantastic success stories. It's not a matter of pretending that the market conditions aren't tough, because they are, but the inherent strengths of franchising lets it stand out from the crowd.

The franchise model has a few built in advantages over other businesses. First of all it operates as a network, so gains from central support, cost savings and knowledge. However, the individual franchisees themselves are small businesses. These small businesses, with local knowledge, provide the tenacity and enterprising nature that drives them forward. In a tough market this robust business model will seek out the opportunities in the sector and replicate them across the network. It is able to compete with the price and consistency of big businesses and the customer focus and local knowledge of small businesses.

This model has proved itself time and again, as franchisees continue to be several times more likely to succeed than other small business start-ups. As a package for both the potential franchisee and the customer, it continues to remain very attractive.

However, this success relies heavily on the people involved. For the potential franchisee, research is essential. The costs, commitment, markets and obligations can change considerably between networks and so you need to make sure you are making the right decision. Speak to bfa accredited professional advisors for guidance and research the bfa member brands thoroughly. There are a lot out there and if you have the right abilities and attitude, buying the right one could prove to be a very worthwhile investment.

Reported by Tom Endean