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Managing Director, Chris Allison, says: “There is an alternative way of owning your own business – franchising. It’s true to say that the value of this concept is not widely known, but the latest statistics from the British Franchise Association (bfa), the voluntary self-regulatory body for the industry, lend credibility to the franchise format:

  • The annual turnover of the franchise sector is £13.7 billion
  • There are 930 franchises and 561,000 people are directly employed
  • Most importantly, the proportion of franchisees reporting profitability is 92 per cent

“We find through exhibiting at franchise exhibitions, our advertising campaigns and discovery seminars, that there are many senior managers and executives who dream of running their own business. Once we have explained the value of ‘being in business for yourself but not by yourself', it suddenly becomes a real possibility. Funding is important of course, but major banks recognise reputable franchisors and, as a result, are happy to lend a substantial percentage of the initial investment.

“Visitors realise that their skills are transferable and that they will have access to all the systems, processes, training and support needed to replicate that successful business. Crucially, this gives them a head start, as well as reducing their investment risk. It avoids the necessity of re-inventing the wheel. Marketing material and support enable the fledging franchisee to grow their business.”

Allison adds that those seeking a franchise should decide what they are interested in and what they are good at. It is vital to play to both their strengths and interests when researching their ideal choice. And, for example, where do they want to see themselves, in say, five to 10 years’ time? What work/life balance are they seeking? This is not just because their business will form a major part of their life, but they will naturally need to enjoy what they’re doing.

As Allison says: “Running your own business means you’re in charge of your income; you’re responsible for your success; you have creative control; you set your own hours and you can’t get fired!”So, where to begin? Allison recommends visiting the bfa website - to gain an overall impression of franchising, their members and forthcoming events. However, he says: You might like to consider joining our network of top management professionals. You could enjoy the benefits of being part of the county’s leading strategic cost management franchise and you might even get to your daughter’s end of term Christmas event!"

‘More than half of new businesses don’t survive beyond five years’ - Daily Telegraph, October 2014.

Moreover, the Department for Business reported: ’20 per cent of new businesses fail within the first year’. Not exactly encouraging!


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