Editor: August/September highlights

There is a good chance that many of you reading this magazine will have picked it up upon seeing the announcement that Orange has launched its franchise opportunity. It's always exciting for franchising when such a large and well-known company endorses the concept and chooses to offer individuals an opportunity to share in its success. Orange is present in over 370 locations on high streets across the UK'through its retail operations and prospective franchise owners are being invited to come on board and help extend this presence further. If you're imagining owning your own business with the Orange logo over your door, you can read more about this development on this site, as well as an interview with Orange Head of Retail Sian Doyle.

Being backed by a big brand is a big attraction to franchising, but it is by no means the only attraction. In fact, in a recent survey of franchise owners the British Franchise Association found only seven per cent named a 'well known brand' as the primary reason for selecting their franchise. The UK Franchise Survey reveals that the most attractive aspects are the 'growth potential' (28 per cent), the 'low risk' (19 per cent), an 'interest in the field of business' (18 per cent) and the the fact that 'existing franchise owners (are) succcessful' (11 per cent). The survey makes interesting reading, and you can read more about its findings in this edition.

I was delighted to participate in the judging process of a set of awards for hairdressing franchising recently. Reading the submissions from business owners who had been put forth for the 'Franchisee of the Year' award, really drove home to me the excitement and drive of people who have built a thriving operation which is providing rewards not only financially, but also in terms of personal development, taking part in the community, delivering excellent customer service and helping employees to realise their own potential. There is no shortage of these people across the UK and job insecurity and redundancy is driving more and more people to look at becoming their own boss.