Editor: February/March edition highlights

Undoubtedly it will be a grim year ahead for many people who have lost their jobs, or are going to. Out of work and fishing in a shrinking job market, many will look to other avenues from which to glean a livelihood, such as self-employment. Franchising traditionally sees a bump in interest during recessions as the pool of people seeking to start a business (and in the case of those armed with redundancy cheques with the funds to do so) grows significantly. According to a report from our publisher Franchise Development Services, this interest has begun to manifest (see page 28).

The reason many choose to entrust their nest egg to a franchised business? A proven track record of profitability... in many cases stretching back through the last recession. Entrepreneurs are defined as risk takers, but franchisees recognise that by signing up for the training and support provided by an experienced franchisor company they can minimise the risk element while still building a business as both an income generator and a saleable asset.

A brand that has thrived over decades of economic ups and downs, McDonald's is still as ubiquitous as ever. My interview with former senior McDonald's executive Paul Facella (on page 18) throws up some interesting lessons about how franchising has been integral to the rise and rise of the golden arches.

Of course, by February many new year's resolutions will have already have been broken. However, if you're serious about entering self employment, the British Franchise Association provides its tips on how to go about researching the franchise market on page 16, and there's heaps more expert advice available at our new improved website at www.thefranchisemagazine.net