Supporting franchise growth in Scotland

If you want to be your own boss then franchising is an option worthy of careful consideration, but many people don't fully understand what franchising is or what it involves. Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds TSB, explains

In a nutshell, franchising is the granting of a licence by the owner of the business (the franchisor), which entitles the local operator (the franchisee) to use the trademark, system and brand of the franchisor to develop their own business.

The business outlet is owned and operated by the franchisee however the franchisor retains control over the way in which products and services are marketed and sold. Good franchisors offer comprehensive training programmes and ongoing support to the franchisee.

The advantages of franchising are that you don't have to come up with an idea, as a tried and tested business model is already in place, a well established franchise will have a strong brand and the purchasing power of a large network, finance may be more readily available from banks at preferential terms.

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise support a series of day long seminars across Scotland in association with the British Franchise Association (bfa) to generate awareness of franchising as a route to self-employment, under the banner 'Franchising - Creating Lasting Jobs and Businesses in Scotland'. These seminars are delivered by an established franchisor, franchisee, specialist lawyer and bank and have been well attended.

Franchise Group For Scotland

Following the success of this initiative the bfa established the Franchise Group For Scotland (FGFS) with support from franchisors, Scottish Enterprise, and established affiliates of the Association (lawyers, banks and accountants). The Group meets regularly and has established a framework to support franchisors and to raise awareness of franchising in Scotland. The Group brings together the champions for ethical franchising in Scotland and aims to secure 1,000 new franchised unit businesses in Scotland over the next five years. Lloyds TSB is an active member of the FGFS and is proud to sponsor Scottish Franchise Week, which culminates in the Scottish Business Breakfast on Friday 2nd June followed by The British Franchise Exhibition in Glasgow at SECC to be held over two days and finishing on Saturday 3rd June.

Although franchising is generally regarded as a safer way to start up a business there are still risks involved so it is essential that you thoroughly research the market and franchise opportunities before making a commitment. Attending the Glasgow Franchise Exhibition is a good starting point in assessing whether running your own business as a part of an established franchise brand is for you.

Franchise Seminars

To support individuals wanting to find out more about franchising the bfa is hosting an evening seminar on 8th June in Glasgow.

To further assist in the evaluation of franchising, Business Gateway and The Franchise Group for Scotland have put together a series of free awareness seminars running throughout the year . Lloyds TSB has produced a helpful guide to support your research as to whether franchising is the right option for you.