National Franchise Week preview by The British Franchise Association (BFA)

BFA Communications Manager Johanna Roughley previews this year's National Franchise Week

Franchising will take centre stage in October during the British Franchise Association's (BFA) National Franchise Week (October 3-9). This week of franchise awareness events is sponsored by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

'With an annual turnover of more than £9 billion and a three per cent increase in the number of franchise brands operating (now 718 according to the BFA/NatWest 2005 UK Franchise Survey), the UK franchise industry is a very important business sector,' states BFA President Sir Bernard Ingham. 'This is further backed up by 88 per cent of franchisees claiming profitability for the past year.

'One of the major points to come from the survey is evidence that the UK's franchise industry continues to mature. This year's survey showed the average length of time franchisees have been running their businesses is 9.9 years, rising from 6.8 years in 1994.'

Capitalising on the success of previous National Franchise Week (NFW) events, representatives from Business Links, Regional Development Agencies, the franchise industry and the business/academic community will be invited to the launch, where they will discuss driving franchising forward as a safe and smart option for starting your own business.

'Franchising covers a wide range of business sectors from fast food to personal services,' continues BFA Director General Brian Smart. 'The BFA wants to get this message out to as wide an audience as possible so the UK franchise industry attracts more high quality franchisees and franchisors. 'National Franchise Week is the BFA's opportunity to open up franchising to everyone. We have organised a national events programme, which is designed to reach people looking into franchising, the small business sector and the franchise community.'

BFA Chairman and Cash Generator Managing Director Brian Lewis said franchising was a great way to start a new business. 'So many people don't recognise the opportunities franchising can offer and National Franchise Week is the perfect platform in which to show how successful business format franchising can be as a way of starting a business. Running your own business need not be risky, and with 88 per cent of franchisees claiming profitability, franchising is far from risky. The aim of National Franchise Week is quite simple: to introduce good ethical franchising to as wide an audience in the UK as possible.'

Following the NFW launch, the BFA will hold an Open Day for prospective BFA members on October 4. The prestigious BFA Franchisee of the Year Awards will be held on October 6 and the week's events conclude with the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham, on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8.

NFW promotes ethical franchising throughout the UK and is run by the BFA, in conjunction with NFE organisers Venture Marketing Group, HSBC and Express Newspapers, who sponsor the BFA Franchisee of the Year Awards.