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Frequently asked questions

Franchisors tap into their years of experience to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by people looking at becoming franchise owners

Do I need previous experience in business to buy a franchise?

No. Many successful franchise owners have come from quite varied backgrounds – teachers, nurses, the Armed Forces, the Police, Government workers – to name but a few. If the franchisor is worth their salt they should be able to teach the business element of the franchise. A reputable established franchisor will also have a tried and tested system with additional support with regards to employment law etc. to support the newcomer to business.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes it is better to enter into a franchise without previous knowledge of their industry, as it is beneficial to have a fresh approach and not to be held back by preconceived ideas. Good franchisors will welcome this, as they will be providing a new opportunity and complete package of training, which will support people with no experience to be successful.
Carol Stewart-Gill, founder of Dublcheck

How will the franchisor help me to establish the brand in my territory?

Most franchisors have a dedicated marketing team that will be able to assist you with the marketing of your business, including advertising, PR, design and point of sale. They will have experience of opening stores across the country and will be able to provide you with advice of what works to successfully establish your brand.

Work with your marketing team to consider the key messages you want to communicate, who your target audience is and how best to communicate with them and tailor it for your location. It is important to regularly evaluate your marketing to ensure you are maximising your spend.

There are three important areas to consider when marketing the store – the launch, ongoing marketing campaigns and developing your brand.

Robin Page, Franchise Director of Cash Generator

How can I get a realistic idea of how much it will cost to set the franchise up?

All franchises that are recognised by the British Franchise Association (bfa) will have to provide you with an important document called the Franchise Information Memorandum (FIM)*. The FIM will provide you with a breakdown of where your Franchise Fee goes and also, what additional working capital you are likely to need.

It is always worth comparing what the FIM states against what existing franchise owners tell you, so make sure you ask this question when you speak to existing franchise owners.
Steve Bolton, founder of Platinum Property Partners

How would you describe the long-term relationship between a franchisor and a franchise owner?

The first thing I would say is that it should be friendly and co-operative. Franchising is a partnership under licence and a partnership can only ever work if each party actually gets along with the other and respects each other’s position. An overbearing franchisor will only stifle and frustrate an entrepreneurial franchise owner. Conversely, a franchise owner that doesn’t play by the rules of the agreement and doesn’t respect the franchisor’s brand is just an annoyance. So both parties have to work together in a balanced way to achieve the mutual goal of business growth and profitability.
Gary Clere, Managing Director of Cargocall

What support will the franchisor give me with regards to managing staff and employment law?

All franchisors generally begin with a training programme to prepare you for your given franchise, which should normally include training on methods of recruitment and retention of staff. Generally the operational support personnel provide general advice to franchise owners regarding employment issues. In addition, some franchisors will also offer membership to enable you to access the professional services of an employment law consultancy company.
Marcelle Ingrouille, Head of Franchising at Merry Maids