If you want to run your own business but don’t fancy starting something from scratch, running a franchise can be a great way to get a business off the ground. You buy the rights to run a business under someone else’s trading name and receive training to help you get started. There are hundreds of franchise opportunities available in the UK, all offering the chance to be your own boss, but as part of a recognised brand.
- Franchisor: A company that licenses their trade name to another person
- Franchisee: The person who has paid to trade under the name of the franchisor
How does franchising work?
Franchising is when an established company grants a license to someone else to sell their product or service under their brand name.
You usually pay for the license and pay a proportion of your profits to the franchisor. In exchange, you receive support and guidance to set up the business.
You’ll benefit from a tried-and-tested format that the franchisor knows works. And, depending on the franchise, may have ready-made brand recognition to attract people to your business.
All of this makes franchising a potentially lower risk way of starting a business in terms of failure – but it comes at a cost.
What sort of franchises are there?
Restaurants and shops tend to be the most common franchises. You might not realise that big name brands like McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Thorntons are all franchises.
But almost any business can be franchised: magazine publishing, garages, nurseries, sports coaching, cleaning, fitness classes, first aid training, care services and more.
With all this choice available, your first step is to think about the sort of business you’d enjoy running. You’ll have a much better chance of succeeding if you’re doing something you’re passionate about - a pet grooming franchise won’t suit someone who is afraid of dogs, but could be the dream career for someone who loves pampering pooches.
As with running any business, franchising is a long-term investment and takes hard work – you need to be happy with your decision and comfortable with your new career.
What skills do you need to run a franchise?
Franchisors provide full training to franchisees, so you don’t always need prior experience before taking on a franchise.
But you’ll need to have the same appetite and aptitude for business as you would for any other enterprise. Useful skills for franchisees include:
- management and leadership skills
- financial acumen
- strong staff management
- an understanding of marketing
- a commitment to customer service
Pros and cons of franchising