Editor: December highlights

The news that the UK economy continued to decline in Q3 of 2009 came as a blow to everyone who was putting their trust in the expert commentators predicting a return to positive growth. But while UK businesses are fighting what has now become the longest UK recession in recorded history, the franchise sector continues to provide examples of businesses that are well suited to achieving growth regardless of prevailing economic conditions.

The term 'recession-resistant' is regularly claimed by franchisors... and often with good reason. Many of these businesses, Cash Generator being one example, were forged in the fire of a previous recession and have been finetuned over the years to proof their concept against the winds of economic performance. Some focus their core service on providing an essential service, such as Jani-King and Dublcheck's commercial cleaning operations, some are delivering in a market that is hardwired for continued growth, such as Caremark and Bluebird Care's domiciliary care services, while others offer cost savings to their customers such as our cover brand, new and pre-owned goods retailer CeX.

A good sign that confidence is returning is the number of companies launching franchise recruitment programmes. The staffing, marketing and preparation involved in bringing a franchise opportunity to market is not inconsiderable, so this can be read as a vote of confidence in the prospects for future growth in the economy. New to The Franchise Magazine in this edition are exciting concepts from Glamour Secrets and Beautcamp.

Our publishing organisation Franchise Development Services has released the intruiging results of a recent survey of franchisors, existing franchise owners and prospective franchise owners, which back up this perception of returning confidence. The report Franchising in the UK 2009 finds that in the last 12 months franchisors recruited, on average, seven franchise owners. That is an incredible finding which suggests that interest in the franchise sector has more than been sustained with the advent of the credit crunch. In fact, many franchisors continue to tell me that the banks ARE lending to new franchise owners because franchises are perceived as less risky than other business startups.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that you can now stay in touch with the latest franchise news updates via The Franchise Magazine on Twitter. We 'tweet' every significant news story the moment it goes live on our website www.TheFranchiseMagazine.net, as well as interesting quotes and USPs from the franchise profiles, franchise owner success stories and other content on the site. Follow us at Twitter.com/TheFranchiseMag