Franchising welcomes White Collar Workers

With the economic downturn creating an influx of management-calibre individuals into unemployment, franchising could offer the solution benefitting from your own talents

The current economic downturn is peculiar, not least for the make-up of today's JobCentre queues. While manufacturing and retail jobs are normally the most vulnerable, this time around the P45s are going to head office staff. A growing proportion of new jobseekers are bankers, agents, advisors, accountants, managers, and even directors. All things considered, this is not entirely surprising. Having downsized, optimised and outsourced so much of their rank and file, most businesses have nowhere left to cut but at the top.

Denizens of a rarified world, highly-qualified professionals often have the greatest difficulty getting back to work, especially in a downturn. The cleverest seek out the security of a proven business opportunity and rightfully consider franchising. However, with fast food restaurants, cleaning, repair and car service franchises the most visible, many wrongly assume that there is nothing in franchising for them.

If you find yourself in this position, I advise you to look carefully. There are some very attractive business opportunities for highly qualified professionals such as yourself: you simply need to know where to look.

Granted, there are plenty of opportunities for those with limited managerial experience. Many individuals simply require a little professional training and some basic business skills to succeed. Individuals like yourself, however, require only the right tools and opportunities.

There is a good number of franchise businesses specifically designed for people with a strong business background. You will find these businesses throughout the pages of this magazine and neatly organised on the UK Franchise Directory (, a comprehensive directory of current franchise opportunities based in the UK. The Directory handily divides its listings into categories. Most white collar franchises can be found under 'Business to Business', 'Consultancy' or 'Accountancy', though there are several more positioned within the other categories. White collar franchises will provide new franchise owners with specialist business tools and systems, concise introductions to their market and systems and a ripe opportunity for a qualified candidate.

Allow me to give you a preview of one opportunity that will be listed shortly, called Business Doctors. Business Doctors helps small- and medium-sized businesses to develop strategic plans and provides all the support necessary to implement them. With hands-on facilitation, personalised mentoring and a full-complement of ongoing support services, Business Doctors effectively serves as a long-term strategic partner to its clients. A management and career franchise, Business Doctors is a compelling opportunity for self-actualisation and profit for talented, enterprising, business minded individuals like yourself. The franchisor seeks 'experienced, business-savvy individuals who can use our systems while maintaining our high standards.'

These systems include a full complement of proven and popular seminars, workshops, diagnostic tools, software systems and marketing stratagems. Founders Rod Davies and Matthew Levington have a down-to-earth, practical and personal approach that defines the company's operating standards. Add your experience, skills and knowledge and you could find yourself like Rod and Matthew, managing over a dozen Associates and enjoying healthy returns simply for helping fellow business people.

There is a great strain of dissatisfaction among white collar workers, who not only sell their time but their experience, skills and personality for the benefit of an organisation that rarely realises the contribution of the individual. It is interesting to note that the loss of a professional posting almost always entails a degree of relief as well as the understandable fear and anger. Franchise ownership is an opportunity to be the primary beneficiary of your talents and assets.

Those professionals who have recently been made redundant (or who fear its likelihood) have my best wishes for a brighter future and my encouragement to investigate one of the many specialist white collar franchises available to you. These include traditional business consulting, specialist and general financial services and more.

Of course, the rich variety of franchises available can also make an oft-considered vocational change a reality. Luckily, the UK Franchise Directory allows you to set your search parameters as narrow or as wide as you wish. Happy hunting to all, whatever the colour of your collar!

Reported by Tony Urwin